Name given to the painting of Henri Matisse, André Derain and other artists from their circle from 1905 to about 1910 characterised by strong colours and fierce brushwork

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  • Henri Matisse, 'André Derain' 1905

    Henri Matisse
    Andr Derain 1905
    Oil on canvas
    support: 394 x 289 mm frame: 550 x 471 x 75 mm
    Purchased with assistance from the Knapping Fund, the Art Fund and the Contemporary Art Society and private subscribers 1954 Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2002

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  • André Derain, 'The Pool of London' 1906

    Andr Derain
    The Pool of London 1906
    Oil on canvas
    support: 657 x 991 mm frame: 794 x 1130 x 76 mm
    Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1951 ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

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  • Georges Rouault, 'The Italian Woman' 1938

    Georges Rouault
    The Italian Woman 1938
    Oil on canvas
    support: 651 x 498 mm frame: 1086 x 960 x 56 mm
    Purchased 1949 ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

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The group were called les fauves ‘the wild beasts’ because of their use of strident, often non-naturalistic colour and their apparently wild application of paint. Their subjects were highly simplified so their work was also quite abstract. The name was coined by the critic Louis Vauxcelles when their work was shown for the first time at the salon d’automne in Paris in 1905. As well as Matisse and Derain, the group included Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, Georges Rouault, Maurice de Vlaminck.

Fauvism can be seen as an extreme extension of the post-impressionism of Van Gogh combined with the neo-impressionism of Seurat. It can also be seen as a form of expressionism.