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Fauvism Collage

Fauvism

Started: 1899

Ended: 1908

Fauvism Timeline

Quotes

"The chief function of color should be to serve expression as well as possible. I put down my tones without a preconceived plan. If at first, and perhaps without my having been conscious of it, one tone has particularly seduced or caught me."
Henri Matisse, from "Notes of a Painter"
"We move towards serenity through the significance of ideas and form ... Details lessen the purity of lines, they harm the emotional intensity, and we choose to reject them. It is a question of learning - and perhaps relearning the 'handwriting' of lines. The aim of painting is not to reflect history, because this can be found in books. We have a higher conception. Through it, the artist expresses his inner vision."
Henri Matisse
"One can talk about the Impressionist school because they held certain principles. For us there was nothing like that; we merely thought their colors were a bit dull."
Kees van Dongen
"[these works were] ..nothing whatever to do with painting.. .. [works more akin to] the barbaric and naive sport of a child who plays with a box of colors he has just got as a Christmas present."
Critic Marcel Nicolle commenting on the Salon D’Automne
"I try to condense the meaning of this body [of a woman] by drawing its essential lines. The charm will than become less apparent at first glance, but in the long run it will begin to emanate from the new image. This image at the same time will be enriched by a wider meaning, a more comprehensively human one, while the charm, being less apparent, will not be its only characteristic. It will be merely one element in the general conception of the figure."
Henri Matisse from Notes of a Painter

KEY ARTISTS

Henri MatisseHenri Matisse
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Maurice de VlaminckMaurice de Vlaminck
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André DerainAndré Derain
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Kees van DongenKees van Dongen
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Raoul DufyRaoul Dufy
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Georges BraqueGeorges Braque
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"If the trees look yellow to the artist, then painted a bright yellow they must be."

Paul Gauguin Signature

Synopsis

Fauvism, the first 20th-century movement in modern art, was initially inspired by the examples of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, and Paul Cézanne. The Fauves ("wild beasts") were a loosely allied group of French painters with shared interests. Several of them, including Henri Matisse, Albert Marquet, and Georges Rouault, had been pupils of the Symbolist artist Gustave Moreau and admired the older artist's emphasis on personal expression. Matisse emerged as the leader of the group, whose members shared the use of intense color as a vehicle for describing light and space, and who redefined pure color and form as means of communicating the artist's emotional state. In these regards, Fauvism proved to be an important precursor to Cubism and Expressionism as well as a touchstone for future modes of abstraction.

Key Ideas

One of Fauvism's major contributions to modern art was its radical goal of separating color from its descriptive, representational purpose and allowing it to exist on the canvas as an independent element. Color could project a mood and establish a structure within the work of art without having to be true to the natural world.
Another of Fauvism's central artistic concerns was the overall balance of the composition. The Fauves' simplified forms and saturated colors drew attention to the inherent flatness of the canvas or paper; within that pictorial space, each element played a specific role. The immediate visual impression of the work is to be strong and unified.
Above all, Fauvism valued individual expression. The artist's direct experience of his subjects, his emotional response to nature, and his intuition were all more important than academic theory or elevated subject matter. All elements of painting were employed in service of this goal.

Beginnings

Fauvism Image

In the opening years of the twentieth century, Post-Impressionist painters working in France such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Cézanne were considered leaders in avant-garde art. Their collective experiments with paint application, subject matter, expressive line, and pure color were advances that fed the emergence of Fauvism. Symbolism, with its emphasis on the artist's internal vision, was another important influence. From another source, the European reassessment of African sculpture as art rather than an anthropological curiosity introduced new ideas of form and representation to the European modernists.

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Fauvism Overview Continues

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Content compiled and written by Justin Wolf

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Justin Wolf
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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