Read full document

Fauvism

Page 1 of 2
The art movement i have researched and am interested in is Fauvism. Fauvism was not a normal movement with a large number of rules or regulations. It was more an instinctive coming together of artists who wished to express themselves by using bold colours, simplified drawing and expressive brushwork. Fauvism was an early 20th century art movement which originated in France. Two young artist, Henri Matisse and Andre` Derain formed the basis of a group of painters nicknamed ‘Les Fauves’ which meant ‘Wild Beast’ in French. They were given this name because it was felt that these artists used intense colours in violent ways, uncontrolled way. While fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910, the movement as such lasted only a few years, 1904-1908, and had three exhibitions.

The artist I have chosen is Henri Matisse, one of the leaders in the art movement Fauvism. His art work I have chosen to analyse is ‘The women with the hat’ which was painted in 1905 and exhibited in the 1905 Salon d'Automne. The Woman with the Hat which is approximately 31-3/4” x 23-1/2”, is an abstracted portrait of Matisse’s wife. The painting illustrates the fundamental characteristics of fauvism with its choice of subject (a portrait), energetic paint strokes, and use of unnatural bright colours. The women’s dress, skin, and feathered hat, as well as the background, are all portrayed with unrealistic shades of vivid colours applied with active brushwork. His sketchy brushwork and wildly arbitrary colours create a harsh and dissonant effect. Few critics couldn’t understand why Matisse would paint his wife like this and this painting creating lots of controversy and deliberate disharmonies.

Matisse painted women with a hat because it was a portrait of his wife, Amélie Parayre. Critics thought the painting looked strangely unfinished and crude. What shocked them most were those odd, clashing colors that decorated the feathers of Madame Matisse's hat and illuminated...