Fauvism was a modern art movement in France in the early 1900s characterized by unusual colors and strong brush strokes. Its name comes from art critic Louis Vauxcelles, who went to a Parisian gallery featuring Fauvist paintings, was disgusted by how crude they looked next to a nice Renaissance statue, and apparently pointed to it and said Donatello parmi les fauves, or "Donatello among the wild beasts". The artists embraced the name, and it stuck. A few years later, Vauxcelles went to a gallery featuring some avant-garde pieces by former Fauve Georges Braque and remarked that style consisted of bizarries cubiques, or "cubic oddities". Subsequently, the term cubism was also adopted by like-minded artist to describe themselves, and Vauxcelles earned himself the rare distinction of having named multiple major art movements. Sometimes being judgy pays off, I guess.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.