Fauvism (c. 1904 CE - 1908 CE)

The first of the avant-garde movements to apply new, innovative concepts to art, Fauvism took the colors used by Impressionists and intensified them. Their paint came straight from the tube and was undiluted. Colors were unrealistic; a Fauve painting might include blue trees or a yellow sky. The Fauves used these colors to express their emotions about their subjects.

Some critics scorned this new style, and one even called the artists "Fauves" or "wild beasts." This style was at its height from 1905 to 1908, when many artists turned to Cubism's logic to escape the unruly emotions of the Fauves. For most artists, Fauvism was an experimental learning tool. Many of the Fauves, including André Lhote, painted in other styles as well.

André Lhote painted Under the Trees I (Sous Bois I) in 1906. He focused on a small thicket of trees instead of the larger landscapes seen in other Fauve paintings. Pink trees and blue bushes cover most of the canvas. Brushstrokes are easily seen in the thick paint, intensifying movement. Imagine what this painting would look like if it were depicted realistically. How does color choice affect your viewing of this scene?

Under the Trees I (Sous-Bois I),
André Lhote, French (1885-1962)

Oil paint
28 3/4 inches H; 23 5/8 inches W
Gift of David T. Owsley

World Events

1906 Einstein introduces theory of relativity.

1906 President Theodore Roosevelt is the first American awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

1919 Treaty of Versailles signed.

1941 National Gallery of Art opens in Washington, D.C.

1941 Bombing of Pearl Harbor.


André Lhote made another, slightly darker version of this scene in Under the Trees II (Sous Bois II), which is currently in a private collection.


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