In art history, Fauvism is assigned to a style of painting. It emerged from a movement within the French avant-garde at the beginning of the 20th century. Fauvism forms the first movement of classical modernism.
The main representatives of the initially reviled movement were Henri Matisse, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck. They were joined by Raoul Dufy, Albert Marquet, Kees van Dongen, Othon Friesz and Georges Braque. Some art historians also count Henri Manguin, Charles Camoin, Jean Puy and Louis Valtat among the Fauves, and according to more recent trends, Georges Rouault as well.
In the Fauvist paintings, the colouring was no longer intended to serve the illusionistic representation of an object. The painterly statement emerged from the harmony of the colour surfaces. Typical for most of the works are their bright colours. However, considerations of the representation of space are just as essential to the composition of the picture.
The roots of Fauvism stem from Impressionism, but the aim was to counteract the fleetingness of Impressionist pictures in order to give the work more duration (French durée). Fauvism did not have its own theory or manifesto. According to a more recent view, Fauvism had things in common with Expressionism.
In 1907, Cubism replaced Fauvism and attracted some of its representatives. It is a legacy of the Fauves that modern artists see colour as an individual means of expression.
The term "Fauvism" derives from the French word fauves "wild beasts". When a small group of painters showed their paintings in Room VII of the Salon d'Automne in 1905, the art critic Louis Vauxcelles saw a female bust in the Florentine style, created by the French sculptor Albert Marque, standing among the paintings. He exclaimed, "Tiens, Donatello au milieu des fauves." ("Look there, Donatello surrounded by wild beasts.") Alongside Henri Matisse and André Derain, Albert Marquet, Henri Manguin, Othon Friesz, Jean Puy, Louis Valtat, Maurice de Vlaminck, Charles Camoin and Kees van Dongen showed their works.