Written by – Nikita Rajani

[Guided by – Ms. Leela Taparia & Ms. Monika Malik]

At the beginning of the 20thcentury, the art world was going through a period of renewal. Part of this was brought by Fauvism, which was the first major avant-garde movement in Europe.

Fauvism developed in France to become the first new artistic style of 20th century. Fauvism paintings first formally exhibited in Paris in 1905 at Salon d’Automne. The contrast to traditional art was so striking it led critics to describe the artists as “Les Fauves” or “wild beast” and thus the name of this movement was born.

The best known Fauvist artists include Henri Matisse, Andre Derain and Maurice Vlaminck who pioneered this artistic movement. Fauvism favors the use of bold, unrealistic colors. Color used , free of traditional purpose for the sole purpose of  painting.  However, Fauvism lasted till 1910, but it had an significant impact on the other art movements, in relation to the use of abstraction and color.

Image source-www.drawpaintacademy.com

Characteristics of Fauvism

Artists of fauvism were the true nature-lover which they expressed through their art. Fauvism paintings focus on individual expression. It was involved with getting in touch with an emotional reality. Instead of painting the real world, Fauvists painted their imaginary world, they painted freedom.

The Fauves were among the first artists to place a strong focus on abstraction and simplified forms. They seemed to have no interest in carefully using depth and form on the canvas like the artists who came before. Fauvists often used powerful, strong , bright but above all pure colors, applied thickly on the canvas, sometimes straight from the tube.

Characterised by small brush strokes of unblended colors, Derain used short brush strokes while Vlaminck used longer swirling strokes. Their developments in abstraction and simplified form paved the way for the following artmovements like Cubism and Expressionism.

Image Source – www.theartstory.com

Artists of Fauvism and their artwork

For the Fauvists, color prevails over the realistic depiction. Matisse used this rule of Fauvism as a fundamental rule throughout his work. The choice of color could be completely arbitrary or something that the artist sees in his mind. For example, trees can be red or blue and people can be green. Such approach was highly unusual for the period. Nature was the favorite subject for Fauvists to paint. Matisse and Derain depicted the places of South France  and Vlaminck was interested in working in the North of France.

Some of the famous artworks of Fauvism

Image Source – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_with_a_Hat

This is the artwork of Matisse called as Woman with a Hat. Colors used by Matisse in this painting are unnatural, the strokes are bold and the forms have been simplified. This painting was unveiled at the first Salon in 190

Henri  Matisse, Luxe, Calme et Volupte,1904
Image source-www.drawpaintacademy.com

This work of Matisse clearly indicates the artist’s stylistic influence. This artwork reflects the influence of Pointillism, a style which is characterized by the use of dots of color,  distort the form. The color of the painting like orange, yellow, green and other color maintain their own discrete places on the picture plane. These colors are almost overpowering its vibrant impact.

Maurice de Vlaminick, The River seine at Chatou, 1906
Image source-www.drawpaintacademy.com

This is the artwork of Vlaminck, known as The River Seine at Chatou. Vlaminck used short strokes of color, directly from the tube without mixing or preparing. He painted the water using a broken color technique. Bright colors and wavy lines could pull the attention on the eyes.

Fauvism inspired fashion

This art movement was a short lived art movement but it had its impact on fashion as well. This was the 1st artistic movement of 20th century, which has inspired the avant- garde  of 21st century.  Fashion and art have always had a close relation, fashion influenced by Fauvism could create a rebellious look. Many designers of today had used the color and pure nature of fauvism to create a strong and inspiring collections, which had great impact on the world of fashion. Here are some of the Fauvism inspired looks


I hope this was an intersecting as well as informative blog.

Don’t forget to like, follow and share.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s