Les Fauves: The “Wild Beasts” of Paris by Eleanor Pence & Ruby Rehman
Explosive Beginnings 1905 Salon d’Automne in Paris All grouped in one room (Salle VII) Generally, negative critical response at first. “Primitive, brutal and violent” “Raving madness, or perhaps, a bad joke” “A child playing with its paintbox” Name given by critic Louis Vauxcelles “Donatello au milieu des fauves”.
Why so scandalous? In many ways, a major departure from previous movements Bright, “unnatural colors” straight from tube. Extremely visible brush strokes Colors and lack of shading work against perspective. Abstraction - a painting is not meant to show what’s happening A preview of the characteristics of many movements to come.
Influences Neo-Impressionist colorists Nabis Seurat’s Pointillism - share an interest in the use of color in lending visual intensity Van Gogh - Pure colors, strong, visible brushstrokes Later, Cezanne and Gaugin Cezanne: Playing with perspective through color Gaugin: strong colors, rich contrasts, flat color areas
Maurice de Vlaminck: Tugboats on the Seine, Chatou (1906)
André Derain Unlike the other Fauves, Derain didn’t start out in Impressionism Aim of the painter was to ‘substitute his inner vision for his perception of the world around him’ Served in the French military from 1901-1904 Painted over the course of several visits to judge light and seasonal changes
Derain’s Ascent to AbstractionEffect of the Sun on theWater (1906) Charing Cross Bridge (1905)
What Happened to Fauvism? Fauvism’s brief history begs the question: Why was it so brief? Barely unified - mostly a group of painters whose styles and ideologies coincided for a short time. Rejected wild colors and blatant emotions for more classical techniques…all except Matisse Emotional use of color absorbed into German impressionism Its freeing of color for emotions and its refusal to portray the world as it was had a powerful influence on later, even more avante-garde movements.