In 1905 an exhibition was held in Paris which included a room full of pictures that blazed with unnatural use of colour and painted with powerful brush strokes. One critic called the creators of these paintings ‘fauves’, meaning ‘wild beasts’ and the name stuck.

Fauvism was the first major avant-garde (experimental) art movement of the 20th century.

Henri Matisse was considered the leader of Fauvism, a group of artists who didn’t like Impressionism and whose use of colour was deliberately contrasting and clashing. Here we see a portrait of Madame Matisse, The Green Line.