“(Fr., the wild beasts) Originally a contemptuous appellation for a group of French post-impressionist painters who exhibited their work at the Salon d’Automne in 1905. They were so called because of their use of strident color, violent distortions, and broad, bold brushwork. Their leader was Henri Matisse; others were Georges Rouault, Maurice Vlaminck, Andre Derain, and Raoul Dufy.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.