This Official Postcrossing card made its way to me from Russia! This is a work of art done by Henri Matisse, a French painter and draughtsman of the late 1800s and early 1900s. By the way – a draughtsman is someone who does technical drawings, in case you didn’t know (like me!) Matisse was a huge contributor to revolutionary changes in visual arts, and he’s known as one of the leaders (along with French artist André Derain) of Fauvism. I’ve been racking my brain trying to understand what makes Fauvism Fauvism, so I’m gonna do my best to explain my understanding! Fauvism (which gets its name from “Les Fauves”, the name given to the group of artists Matisse was a part of that means “wild beasts”) is akin to expressionism (expressionism = the artist expression emotion through his/her work). One key feature of Fauvism is how color is not always in concordance with the subject – thus, it is an independent entity, controlled to modify mood in a painting. The nude kumbaya-ers here in “The Dance” are likely not red in real life; Fauvism gives permission to make ’em that way. Fauvism is also big on simplified form, which further reduces the realism in the painting even more than impressionist works, but in turn allows for one to see the flatness of the canvas. In short, these drastic breaks from realism allow for the artist to be more liberal with his or her emotional expression. “The Dance” here utilizes such intense colors and loose form, and while it might seem like a childish painting at first, it’s all highly intentional for the purpose of feeling things like the “lightness” in it. Matisse knew what the heck he was doing! By the way, you’ll notice a small break by the leftmost and front members – care to join in? I’ll bring the red body paint! Thanks a ton for this postcard, Nadin!