Reply To: Expressionism

  • Encyclios

    April 25, 2023 at 8:10 AM

    Expressionism and Fauvism

    The Germans judged the Fauves to be expressionists when they knew their paintings. More recent comparisons (Fauvisme and the Beginnings of German Expressionism, Paris-München 1966) have made it possible to better define the terms of such an identification. In the first place, the Fauves are above all painters; and the German Expressionists engravers. In France, the way of applying color is very different, and the spirit of painting itself is still naturalistic.

    Sometimes, however, the Fauves reached a convincing expressive intensity: Vlaminck very early (At the Bench, 1900: preserved in Avignon); Matisse especially in 1906 (Gypsy: in Saint-Tropez) and 1909 (Algerina, Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne; Nude, Sunny Landscape: San Francisco, private collection), during the period when his efforts to simplify forms resembled the graphic-derived stylizations of Die Brücke, Derain in particular in the remarkable small painting Characters in a Meadow (1906-1907: Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris); Van Dongen, with more spontaneous ease (Anita, 1905: private collection).

    Derain also engraved on wood, with more “negro” perseverance than Picasso: illustrations for Apollinaire’s Enchanteur pourrissant, 1909), and also Vlaminck, whose plates recall, for the balance between blacks and whites, those of the Germans (Chatou Bridge, c. 1914).

    Rouault, on the other hand, is an individuality at the margin, whose situation in France is very similar to that of Nolde in Germany. Before 1914, he expressed himself best in large watercolors devoted to religious themes (Ecce homo, 1905: New York, private collection) or inspired by the pitiless spectacle of life (Girl at the Mirror, 1906: Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne).