Fauvism developed when Henri Matisse painted with Andre Derain at Collioure on the French Riviera during the summer of 1905. Matisse’s Open Window Collioure combined landscape with a rectangular window composition and exciting color. In Fishing Boats, Collioure, Derain emphasized pattern and color using boat shapes as a starting point.
Matisse and Derain explored the use of explosive, pure color without regard to natural colors. Their style was characterized by bold, arbitrary color, simplification of forms, and energetic application of paint. The appearance of spontaneity was valued, occasionally at the expense of perspective. They were interested in creating an object of beauty rather than a representation of reality. By disassociating color from form, they opened the door for Expressionism where color was the main subject without regard to form.
Today, many artists use creative color while drawing inspiration from the landscape. In the future, we’ll look at how Fauvism is being reinterpreted by contemporary painters. If you know of painters who would be considered contemporary Fauves, suggest their names in the comments.