The display of brash, color-splashed paintings at the Salon d'Automne in 1905 both astonished and amused Parisians. The exhibiting artists became known as the Les Fauves— the wild beasts. The name long outlasted the brief movement known as Fauvism, but the trend setting colorists influenced the course of twentieth century art. Among those exhibiting were Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, Georges Rouault, and others. Scholars have explored the explosive work of the Fauves searching for clues to the break in custom and conformity from academy art. Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and the contemporaneous interest in Japanese and Primitive art that preceded the first Fauve exhibit are generally acknowledged as influential. Another factor—the impact of Coptic tapestry art—is less well known.
Independent textile scholar, author and educator Nancy Arthur Hoskins will provide some clues for curious art historians and tapestry scholars to the complex connection between Coptic tapestry art, the Fauves, and a few other artists. The scene shifts from Coptic Egypt to turn of the century Paris when a French archaeologist, an Armenian antiquarian, and all of the Fauves-to-be were there.
In our Echoes of Egypt: Conjuring the Land of the Pharaohs lecture series, prominent experts discuss their research and unique perspectives on themes in the exhibition. Join us for Part I of the series in April; Part II will take place during the fall semester.