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  • Writer's pictureLeeza Arkhangelskaya

Taming of the “Wild Beast”

Hervé Lenouvel pays homage to Fauvism

Herve Lenouvel, les rives automnales 24 x 24


Hervé Lenouvel considers himself a follower of fauvism—a style of painting that flourished in France at the start of the 20th century. His most well-known predecessors were Henry Matisse, Paul Gaugin, and Maurice Vlaminck, famous for using pure, vivid colors, vigorously applied to the canvas. This technique creates the effect of an explosion, a burst of energy. Because of the intense expressiveness of their works, art critics labeled the painters “fauves”, which means “wild beast.”

Hervé Lenouvel was born and spent his youth in northern France—Brittany, with its harsh weather, cold ocean breeze, and vibrant colors. Living in the countryside, Hervé established a spiritual bond with the fields and forests around him. He began painting in his childhood, trying numerous techniques and styles.

Herve Lenouvel, entre les colines 40 x 20

Herve Lenouvel, les herbes rouges 20 x 20

Owner Leeza Arkhangelskaya in gallery with Herve Lenouvel painting


At the beginning of his artistic life Lenouvel was recognized for his figurative and representational works. Later, he developed his own style: traditional landscape bordering with an abstract composition. Hervé reflects on his artwork: “Although I am considered an abstract painter, I view the world in representational images rather than abstract shapes and lines.”

The nature of Brittany remains the major source of Lenouvel’s inspiration, the symbol of borderless freedom. During his daily walks, he observes and memorizes his own impression of a particular scene, interpreting it into his own colors and shapes affected by the sun, rain, morning, and evening light.

He finishes his paintings at his studio, materializing his memories on canvas, retaining only the essentials, and preserving the emotional freshness of the moment. “I learned to paint like a craftsman learns to do his job, but painting is not just about technique, you have to go beyond the method, you have to put yourself into it, learn to know yourself, put your personality on the canvas, it’s actually the most interesting part of the job.” Sky, water, trees, and grass are improvised as the painting progresses, taking their own shapes, yet leaving space for the viewer’s imagination.

The main element of Lenouvel’s emotional impact is undoubtedly his jewel-like color palette: “Color alone directs me on the canvas, I lay down my colors, I create pictorial compositions, and as long as this composition is not complete, as long as I have not found the balance, I continue to work on this canvas.”

Nowadays, Hervé continues to live and work in Brittany. His paintings have been exhibited and admired for many years in France, England, Canada, and the USA.


Hervé Lenouvel’s artwork is exhibited at East West Fine Art, in Mercato. 9115 Strada Place, #5155 Naples, Florida 34108. |


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