Collioure Stories and Tips

Fauvism: A Mini Lesson in Art History

Here is why the Fauvists found Collioure... Photo, Collioure, France

What in the world is Fauvism? I asked myself this question many times while touring the tiny town of Collioure, a small Mediterranean fishing village. I learned that Collioure was more or less "discovered" by Matisse in the early 1900''s as a wonderful place to paint. The light, the sun, the sky, the color of the water (a true vermeil) drew him and a cast of other artists to this wonderful place. It appears that Fauvism grew out of "Pointillism" and Post-Impressionism (for all of you art history fans) and it is characterized by bold colors and brush strokes.

At any rate, Collioure became kind of a "mecca" for these artists, attracting the likes of Derain, Dali, and Picasso, as well as Maillol (a sculptor), Marquet, Manguin, Vlaminck, Dufy, and others. Fauvism appears to have been a relatively brief movement in art history but had a supreme influence on some of the later Expressionists.

Examples of quaint and colorful fishing boats similar to those Matisse painted are still in the harbor, mainly for tourists and other artists who still flock here. There are lots of touristy artists who have set up canvases along the beach, but the town has some serious art galleries as well.

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