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Mar/Apr 2014

Woman With a Hat by Henri MatisseBeauty and the Wild Beasts

Author Affiliations
  • 1Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery Institute, University of California–Irvine, Orange

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2014;16(2):81-82. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2013.2486

The Fauvist movement was flung into cultural cognizance in 1905 when Henri Matisse’s Woman With a Hat (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California), among various other works by Matisse, Rousseau, and Derain, were displayed for the first time in the Salon d’Automne exhibition in Paris, France, alongside a Renaissance-era sculpture by Donatello. Abraded by the exuberant use of color and untamed brush-stroked abstraction, art critic Louis Vauxcelles derided this new style of art as “Donatello au milieu des fauves!” (“Donatello among the wild beasts”).1 Les Fauves, or Fauvists as they came to be known, were a group of artists who began to rebel against the Impressionism movement popular at the time. Unlike the Impressionists, who used delicate brush work and lifelike portrayal of light to paint accurate and natural-appearing scenes of everyday life, the Fauvists strove to emphasize an abstraction of ordinary life using exuberant, unnatural colors and free-roaming brushstrokes. His debut in the Salon d’Automne was just the beginning of Matisse’s notably long-lasting and plastic art career, which spanned over a half a century.

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