Fauvism Henri-Matisse-the-dessert-harmony-in-red Fauvism was an art style that lasted only four years, beginning in 1905. The leader of this movement was Henri Matisse. The word Fauvism is French for "wild beasts". It got this name because the paintings had bright and unusual colours. The subjects in the paintings were shown in a simple way, and the colours and patterns were bright and wild.