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Fauvism

364 artworks, 40 artists
It is generally accepted that Fauvism is a logical continuation of impressionism, or rather, its most prominent representatives – Van GoghGauguin and Cézanne. At the beginning of the last century, a group of French artists decided to unite and give the world a new vision of painting, which later became the first avant-garde trend.

The most prominent person involved in the young community was Henri Matisse. It is he who is considered the founder of Fauvism: the first painting in the new style, which was appreciated by the audience, was “Woman with a Hat”. The canvas caused a real sensation and became a kind of reference point for the formation of Fauvism in painting as an independent style.

Canvases by the painters who were united by their search and interests, where bright colours, expressive strokes and deliberately minimalistic features of the depicted objects prevailed, were periodically exhibited in galleries. One of these events gave the name to the style: the influential art critic Louis Vauxcelles, who was famous, by the way, for giving the name to Cubism, called the artists the “fauves” — wild; the term “Fauvism” quickly took root. Such an unflattering epithet was voiced because of the contrast created by the statue of the classical style against the background of “primitive and colourful” paintings.

The peak of the popularity of the creative community was in 1905 to 1907. However, later each of the artists went his own way, the association broke up. Nevertheless, Fauvism in painting continued to exist until the last decade of the twentieth century, spreading far beyond France. Thus, in 1922, Matisse painted the picture “The Raised Knee”, and two years later another fauvist Rouault Georges showed the public his “Crucifixion”. The most prominent representative of Fauvism in Russia was the artist Marc Chagall, whose work was certainly influenced by cubism as well.

How did the artists themselves see Fauvism?

In their work, the Fauvists renounced absolutely all conventions and laws established by classical art schools. They painted pictures, not people. Therefore, the selection of colours was not an urgent problem. So, Matisse, who allowed himself to depict a woman’s nose in green tones only because the canvas seemed more original to him, urged his comrades to return to bright, juicy and vibrant colours within the Fauvism style to excite the human imagination and feelings.

The Fauvist artists were innovators, they depicted the world subjectively, through the prism of their vision, therefore each of the fauvist worlds reflected in the canvas of one or another creator had its own individual and unique character.

Therefore, André Derain is considered the most rational, violent and wild artist adhering to Fauvism. The experts consider the period of his work, associated with this style, archaic. His painting “Trees at Collioure”, which was painted as part of a series in 1905, explains this opinion very eloquently. Subsequently, the picture was estimated at 14 million dollars. It is noteworthy that in the same year another fauvist painting was produced by Henri Matisse – “Collioure Interior”, which was also a painting from a broad cycle dedicated to a place on the Mediterranean coast called Collioure.

Another striking example of Fauvism is the work of Albert Marquet. Critics and experts call his paintings in this style a textbook case. They fascinate at first sight with their simplicity and light mood. Even with the use of a bright palette, his canvases looked restrained and soft against the background of the rest of the Fauvist creations. One of Marquet’s initial fauvist works is “The Port, Le Havre”.
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