Exhibition Archive

Fauve Painting 1905-7: The Triumph of Pure Colour

27 June — 27 August 2001

Maurice de Vlaminck, Nu Couche, 1905

During the summer 2001, the Courtauld Institute Gallery showed an outstanding collection of around 30 Fauve paintings, brought together in a display that focused on this key modernist style. Fauves, or "wild beasts", was the name given to a group of young artists whose exuberantly coloured canvases provoked a storm of critical controversy in Paris in 1905. The group, including Matisse, Derain, de Vlaminck, Braque and Dufy, was to establish a new artistic direction, rejecting accurate imitation of nature in favour of bold self-expression, using broad, flat areas of colour to magnificent effect. Painting in the suburbs of Paris and in the coastal towns and villages of Normandy and Southern France, the Fauves created some of the most vigorous and beautiful images of modernist art.