Les Fauves (the Wild Beasts) was the name given by a hostile critic to a group of artists who exhibited their work together at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1905.
The painters so described included Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck and Rouault. The characteristics of their work which suggested the name include abstract shapes, brilliant, often clashing colours, and distortions of figurative forms. Such devices, although now admired, were then condemned because they contravened the conventions of an academic artistic training.
This loosely allied group of artists split up around 1908.