Development of Fauvism and Its Influences
Developed in France during the 20th century, Fauvist Style Art combines simplified form with exaggerated colors to display more profoundly the deeper sentiments of a painting. Fauvists believe that color should describe how an object looks and simultaneously display the feelings an artist has about it’s painting.
The earliest beginnings of Fauvism can be found in the post-impressionistic paintings of Paul Gauguin. Gauguin ascribed mystical properties to color, which he believed could transcend the objective realm and enter into the subjective realm by evoking emotions. His notions pushed artists to experiment with color in different ways, which would later lead to Fauvism.
Fauvism was one of the earliest avant-garde and contemporary art movements to flourish in France during the early 20th century. It was a direct break away from Impressionism and more widely accepted traditional forms of art. Although there were many great artists who contributed to the success of this art movement, two of it’s biggest influences were Henry Matisse and Andre Derain.
A young artists at the time, Matisse found great joy in experimenting with vibrant colors. He learned that the exaggeration of colors, which is almost similar to abstract art, required a simplified approach in drawing and form. This technique adequately expressed the joy he felt in his new found freedom of color. He writes, “We move towards serenity through the simplification 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.”
Artist Andre Derain was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard to create a series of art about France. This series would be represented through Fauvism and was very different from previous projects that depicted France. The end result was a series that consisted of thirty paintings. This project became very popular and has various depictions of the Thames in France.
The term “Fauve” or “the beasts” was attributed to this style of expressionist art by critic Louis Vauxcelles in his review Gil Blas. He was amused by the exaggeration of color and simplified structure found in the art pieces, especially when compared to other contemporary paintings. Upon first glance of this new style, he sarcastically remarked, “Donatello au mileau des fauves” which means Donatello surrounded by the wild beasts! The term remained and would be use to describe this technique and it’s artists thereafter.
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Although Fauvism was not a formal movement with a strict set of rules and regulations, it would give way to futures styles like Cubism, German Expressionistic Art, abstract art and others. The new found freedom expressed in Fauvism would inspire future artists to use colors in new and innovative ways. To learn more about purchasing a Fauvist-style painting by John Nieto, call (415) 393-4511 or browse our website.