Demonstrating a complete disregard for the representational expectations placed upon painters since the time of the Renaissance, the Fauvist movement was the first dynamic art movement of the twentieth century. The style was noted for its emphasis on color and a dismissal of the importance of realistic representation of the subject.
It freed up the artist to express their own vision, using liberal palettes of brilliant color and ecstatic brush work to render their subject. The movement was fairly short in span, lasting from 1900 to around 1910, due to the concurrent development of other movements such as Cubism, which was so far removed from any other style that it drew much stronger attention.
There was no organized school of painters calling themselves "Fauvists", and the name was given to the style by an unimpressed critic. The word "Fauve" translates to "wild beast" and was assigned to the works because of their flamboyant use of color and their unrestrained application of paint - occasionally squirted directly from the tube onto the canvas.
The original painters assigned to the style included Henri Matisse, Georges Roualt, Andre Derain, Georges Braque, Maurice de Vlaminck, Jean Puy, Louis Valtat, and Raoul Dufy. The group had three formal exhibitions beginning with the Salon d'Automne in 1905, where critic Louis Vauxelles gave them their name.
The movement translated easily to the American art scene, where Alfred Stieglitz was happy to display their works in his gallery, #291. Additionally, the historic Armory Show of 1913 included works of the Fauvists, which soon influenced several developing styles around the country.