Colour Notes 5: Fauvism in mainstream painting

I like Bevan’s paintings which have an element of social realism and show how much horses were used to deliver goods. Wasn’t he on the fringes of the Camden group?

The Eclectic Light Company

For a few years in the early twentieth century, André Derain, Henri Matisse and others known as the Fauves (‘wild beasts’) dazzled those who viewed their avant garde art. Not only were their colours intense, often raw from the tube, but they were so inappropriate. Flesh became vivid green, buildings and horses blue, and skies blood red. For most it was a passing phase, and by 1908 the wild beasts had stampeded on to the next fad as modernism evolved volcanically.

Their influence was more lasting and general, though, affecting other artists until the Second World War. In this article I look at how other, more mainstream painters had their own Fauvist phase.

In some ways a continuation of the changes seen in Post-Impressionism, high chroma paintings had become common among those painting in the south of France, the Midi, with its brilliant and different light.

Paul Signac, The Port of Saint-Tropez (1901-2), oil on canvas, 131 x 161.5 cm, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. WikiArt. Paul Signac (1863-1935), The…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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