Impressionism, Pointillism, Fauvism – Wait, What?


When it comes to early Modern Art, I immediately think of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies and Japanese BridgeMonet is known as the Father of Impressionism with his depiction of Le Havre, France, in his painting Impression, Sunrise , in 1874, using dabs or strokes of primary unmixed colors in order to simulate actual reflected light. Then came Pointillism, seen in Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte , with the use of tiny dots of color to create a depth of light.
Vincent van Gogh led the Expressionism movement with swirling brush strokes and vivid colors that spoke more of the artist’s feelings than loyalty to the real world. But somewhere in the middle, a small but significant outburst erupted from Les Fauves.
Art, being the reflection of society and change that it is, significantly the fifty years preceding the turn of the 19th century saw the creation of the railway system, an Atlantic shipping line, the telegraph, the telephone, and the invention of the postage stamp. As with all new centuries, the human psyche suffers the stress of change, both in the physical world and aesthetic feelings which arose from the rise of socialism across Western Europe and the Industrial Revolution. The belief in universal adult suffrage had been established and the future was in the making. Impressionism had already broken away from the static norm in the art world and set the Modern Art movement in motion. Henry Matisse, Andre Derain and Maurice De Vlaminck are the most famous Fauvists from its relatively short-lived reign, from 1905-1907. Colors were bolder and brush strokes were seemingly more careless and undefined. Logic no longer applied to everyday norms of light and dark, depth and perspective. Fauvism, though brief, marked a significant change in the fearless freedom of the artists of the day to experiment and challenge the older schools of thought that Realism, and even Impressionism, had established in the 1800’s. It marked a brave new world in every color, shape and size. Just wild!

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