Fauvism is a style of painting based on the use of vivid, non-naturalistic colour and was the first of the major avant-garde developments in art before the First World War. Its dominant figure was Henri Matisse, other members being André Derain, Maurice Vlaminck, Albert Marquet and Georges Rouault.
The group first exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in 1905. It was at this exhibition that their name was given to them by the art critic Louis Vauxcelles, who pointed out on seeing a small 14th century like sculpture amongst their paintings: Donatello au Milieu des fauves, (Donatello amongst the wild beasts).
The Fauves exhibited again at the 1906 Salon des Independents, but after this most of the group began to go off in different directions with only Matisse continuing to explore the beauty of pure colour. Although the movement was short-lived it was very influential especially on German Expressionism.