Wild Beasts: Fauves Louis Valtat and Raoul Dufy

KatherineEuropean Paintings, In the GalleryLeave a Comment

The Fauve artists working in France during the early part of the twentieth century had far reaching influence for such a short lived movement in art history. The movement was lead by Henri Matisse and Andre Derain primarily, but also included artists Louis Valtat, Raoul Dufy and Henri Manguin among others.  The group was coined “The Wild Beasts” and their work was distinctive because of its strong painterly quality and bold color pallet. The group had no defined agenda or set of aesthetics.

Danseuses at Ackerman's Fine Art

Danseuses at Ackerman’s Fine Art

The style was inspired by impressionism, but evolved to use wider and chunkier brush strokes.  Artist Paul Gauguin was also influential with his flat areas of colors and primitive style. Louis Valtat’s early work used light touches of an impressionist style and the colorful dots found in Pointillism. Suffering from tuberculosis, he spent many autumn/winter seasons on the Mediterranean coast. There Valtat intensified his use of color and began to express his Fauvist tendencies, particularly in painting seascapes.  Raoul Dufy had stronger Fauve influences in his work. Dufy was also influenced by the impressionists as Valtat was early in their careers. In 1905, Dufy saw a Matisse painting at the Salon des Indépendants and began adopting the Fauve style of painting until about 1909.

The Fauve style of painting was short lived and ultimately was overtaken by expressionism.  Its contribution to art history was a heightened perceived value and prominence of color in painting, particularly with the German Expressionist, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.  It was an exciting time in art history and helped develop and influence much of today’s contemporary artists.



Kenny Ackerman is an Art Dealer in New York, specializing in Fine Art Paintings from 19th-21st century Europe and America. To buy or sell original paintings by artists we represent, contact Ackerman’s Fine Art here.

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