fauve was our Word of the Day on 05/12/2016. Hear the podcast!
Origin and Etymology of fauve
French, literally, wild animal, from fauve tawny, wild, from Old French falve tawny, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German falo fallow — more at fallow
First Known Use: 1931
Definition of fauve
1 often capitalized : of or relating to the fauves
2 : vivid in color
Did You Know?
When French art critic Louis Vauxcelles spotted a statue reminiscent of 15th-century Italian art in the midst of works by an avant-garde group of painters—principal among them Henri Matisse—at an exhibit in Paris in 1905, he verbalized his shock with the words "Donatello au milieu des fauves!" ("Donatello among the wild animals!"). His reaction was to the painters' unconventional use of intensely vivid color and free treatment of form, and apparently his words weren't far off the mark in describing their art: Matisse and company's art movement became known as "Fauvism" and the artists flourishing in it, the "Fauves." In 1967, the intense impact of their colors was still vibrant, inspiring one writer for Vogue to use fauve as an adjective to describe the colors of a "striking" flowered coat—and that use can still be found today vivifying colors.
First Known Use of fauve
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