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An early 20th-century movement in painting begun by a group of French artists and marked by the use of bold, often distorted forms and vivid colors.

[French fauvisme, from fauve, wild animal, from fauve, wild, reddish-yellow, from Old French falve, reddish-yellow, from Frankish *falw-; see pel- in Indo-European roots.]

fau′vist adj.


an early movement in 20th-century painting characterized by an emphasis on the use of unmixed bright colors for emotional and decorative effect. — Fauvist, n. — Fauve, n., adj.
See also: Art


(c. 1905–07) A shortlived but influential movement of artists surrounding Matisse, characterized by daring, spontaneous handling of paint in bold, brilliant, often nonrepresentational color. “Fauve” means “wild beast,” a critic’s response to a 1905 exhibition of works by Matisse and others.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fauvism - an art movement launched in 1905 whose work was characterized by bright and nonnatural colors and simple forms; influenced the expressionists
art movement, artistic movement - a group of artists who agree on general principles
References in periodicals archive ?
Il guide aussi son lecteur dans les differents courants d'expression artistique : impressionnisme, expressionnisme, fauvisme, cubisme, futurisme, abstraction, dadaisme, surrealisme.
En die palet van so 'n herfstuin is so verandeflik, so vry dat 'n mens outomaties aan die fauvisme dink.
Le Fauvisme ou l'Epreuve du Feu' at the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris in 2000, for instance, opened with Matisse's work of 1903 but had no examples of the late neo-impressionist works that influenced him.