Naïve art is a classification of art that is often characterized by a childlike simplicity in its subject matter and technique. While many naïve artists appear, from their works, to have little or no formal art training, this is often not true. The words "naïve" and "primitive" are regarded as pejoratives and are, therefore, avoided by many. The term naïve art is often seen as outsider art which is without a formal (or little) training or degree. While this was true before the twentieth century, there are now academies for naïve art. Naïve art is now a fully recognized art genre, represented in art galleries worldwide.The characteristics of naïve art are an awkward relationship to the formal qualities of painting. Especially non-respect of the 3 rules of the perspective (such as defined by the Progressive Painters of the Renaissance) :
decrease of the size of objects proportionally with distance,
muting of colors with distance,
decrease of the precision of details with distance,
The results are :
effects of perspective geometrically erroneous (awkward aspect of the works, children's drawings look, or medieval painting look, but the comparison stops there)
strong use of pattern, unrefined color on all the plans of the composition, without enfeeblement in the background,
an equal accuracy brought to details, including those of the background which should be shaded off.
Simplicity rather than subtlety are all supposed markers of naïve art. It has, however, become such a popular and recognizable style. Whereas naïve art ideally describes the work of an artist who did not receive formal education in an art school or academy, for example Henri Rousseau or Alfred Wallis. There also exist the terms "naïvism" and "primitivism" which are usually applied to professional painters working in the style of naïve art (like Paul Gauguin, Mikhail Larionov, Paul Klee). "Primitive art" is another term often applied to art by those without formal training, but is historically more often applied to work from certain cultures that have been judged socially or technologically "primitive" by Western academia, such as Native American, subsaharan African or Pacific Island art (see Tribal art). This is distinguished from the self-conscious, "primitive" inspired movement primitivism. Yugoslavia was source of very famous and original naïve school. There also exist the terms "naïvism" and "primitivism" which are usually applied to professional painters working in the style of naïve art (like Paul Gauguin, Mikhail Larionov, Paul Klee).
S’agissant d’un mouvement non académique, l’art naïf ne possède pas de définition propre. Il se caractérise cependant par une représentation figurative de sujets populaires : paysages campagnards, costumes folkloriques, animaux domestiques ou sauvages. Du point de vue technique, cet art se caractérise par le non-respect — volontaire ou non — des trois règles de la perspective occidentale telles que définies depuis la Renaissance par Léonard de Vinci : la diminution de la taille des objets proportionnellement à la distance, l'atténuation des couleurs avec la distance, diminution de la précision des détails avec la distance.
Cela se traduit par :
des effets de perspective géométriquement erronés qui donnent un caractère « ingénu » aux œuvres, une ressemblance avec des dessins d’enfants, ou rappellent la perspective signifiante des peintures du Moyen Âge — sans autres points communs ;
l’emploi de couleurs vives, souvent en aplats, sur tous les plans de la composition, sans atténuation à l’arrière-plan ;
une égale minutie apportée aux détails, y compris ceux de l’arrière-plan, lesquels devraient être estompés.