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Fantastical painting

Fantasy painting is a style of art which explores the supernatural, depicting fantastical elements such as legends, ancient myths and divine figures. Mythical creatures are also prevalent in this genre where elves, fairies, dragons and wizards are often depicted alongside deities, angels and demons.

Fantasy painting grew in popularity after the invention of photography replaced the demand for Realism in the 19th century. The 20th century saw the introduction of new idealistic movements such as Expressionism, Cubism, Abstraction and Surrealism, where artists abandoned portraying subjects truthfully and embraced the implausible and supernatural. Although Fantasy Painting can technically be traced back to antiquity, it wasn't until the 20th century that it became an accepted art form. Artists of the Italian Renaissance were equally inspired by mythological characters in Greek and Roman culture. However, religious mythology was a highly sophisticated and incredibly important topic during the Renaissance, and is therefore not an example of fantasy painting. 

Contemporary fantasy art has certainly been influenced by a surge in demand for science fiction and whimsical literary plots. This pushed artists to explore the darker corners of fantasy art, employing vampires and werewolves into their artwork. In 1923 the first all-fantasy fiction magazine was created called “Weird Tales", which helped bring fantasy painting onto a contemporary platform. As a result, fantasy painting became a powerful tool in the marketing of fantasy literature and film. Robert E. Howard's comic book hero “Conan the Barbarian" was a prominent feature in Weird Tales magazine. However, when the stories were re-released in 1960 with cover art by notable fantasy painter, Frank Frazetta, over 10 million copies were sold. This success lead to the creation of other fantasy art magazines. French magazine, “Métal Hurlant" (howling metal) was created in 1974. Due to its huge readership and demand, it was translated and republished in the United States as “Heavy Metal" in 1977. The late 70s also saw a boom in computer games and blockbuster films, which only furthered the popularity of fantasy painting. Hugely successful films like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Hobbit and Twilight were paramount in fantasy painting's not only rise to prominence, but also increasing acceptance as an art form. 

Despite the skill of artists that produce fantasy paintings, it is still not considered canonical. Since it is not an example of “high art", the genre is generally not exhibited in galleries or taught in art schools, which many claim is due to the popularity of fantasy literature and film. However, as fantasy painting's reputation grows, so does the acceptance for a wider variety of art forms. Therefore, we can't eliminate the possibility that this massively prominent genre won't be considered highbrow one day. 

Discover our selection of original paintings by contemporary artists and painters who have been inspired by all things supernatural, mythical and divine.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Paintings

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Laurent Bouro, Les arbres 1.9, Painting

Laurent Bouro

Les arbres 1.9, 2021
120 x 80 x 4 cm


Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Angel BA, Painting

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Angel BA, 2021
92 x 62 cm


François-Régis Lemonnier, Un soir au bout du monde, Painting

François-Régis Lemonnier

Un soir au bout du monde, 2021
50 x 50 x 5 cm


Matthew Rose, Deuxième prix, Painting

Matthew Rose

Deuxième prix, 2012
42 x 30 cm


Yaroslava Neli Shai, Geisha, Painting

Yaroslava Neli Shai

Geisha, 2021
120 x 90 x 3 cm


Evgeniya Kapatskaya, Protected by the Force, Painting

Evgeniya Kapatskaya

Protected by the Force, 2020
100 x 70 x 2 cm


Jonathan Truss, Wish upon a star, Painting

Jonathan Truss

Wish upon a star, 2021
45 x 69 x 5 cm


Michael Wills, Suspended, Painting

Michael Wills

Suspended, 2018
91.4 x 61 cm


Tatiana Samoïlova, Parole, Painting

Tatiana Samoïlova

Parole, 2020
34 x 48 x 0.1 cm


Julien Cuny, Le Chewing-gum, Painting

Julien Cuny

Le Chewing-gum, 2020
120 x 120 x 2.5 cm


Nathalie Roure, 123...Partez, Painting

Nathalie Roure

123...Partez, 2021
81 x 100 x 2 cm


Pierre Golvan, Ecoutez le bruissement des racines, Painting

Pierre Golvan

Ecoutez le bruissement des racines, 2019
60 x 60 x 2 cm


Marc Ferrero, Le monde de l'accélération, Painting

Marc Ferrero

Le monde de l'accélération, 2021
180 x 180 cm


Gabrielle Rul, Les pensées, Painting

Gabrielle Rul

Les pensées, 2021
76 x 56 cm


Benoît Mauduech, The gold bridge, Painting

Benoît Mauduech

The gold bridge, 2019
80 x 80 x 5 cm


Harouna Ouedraogo, Hear from one ear, Painting

Harouna Ouedraogo

Hear from one ear, 2020
81 x 65 x 2 cm


Esy Beluzzi, Pineapple, Painting

Esy Beluzzi

Pineapple, 1977
63 x 44 x 0.2 cm


Our recommendations Sergio Barletta, Fire Eater, Painting

Sergio Barletta

Fire Eater, 1970
23 x 33 x 0.1 cm

€563 €750

Anne-Marie Vesco, Déesse ou martyre, Painting

Anne-Marie Vesco

Déesse ou martyre, 2016
19 x 14 x 6 cm


Gelitin, Gelatin pavillon - some like it hot, Painting


Gelatin pavillon - some like it hot, 2011
101.8 x 73 cm


Keziat, I Dreamed a Strong Wind, Painting


I Dreamed a Strong Wind, 2020
40 x 50 x 0.1 cm


Alkis Matheos, The Sphinx, Painting

Alkis Matheos

The Sphinx, 1950
25 x 33.5 x 0.3 cm


Alias Lebaudy, Les lymphes, Painting

Alias Lebaudy

Les lymphes, 2019
64 x 50 x 0.2 cm


Francesco Sciortino, Illuminazione XII, Painting

Francesco Sciortino

Illuminazione XII, 2003
50 x 34 x 0.3 cm


Armando Orfeo, Believe Yourself Smart, Painting

Armando Orfeo

Believe Yourself Smart, 2002
50 x 100 x 0.1 cm

€900 €1,200

Yu Fu, Ange ailé unique, Painting

Yu Fu

Ange ailé unique, 2019
40 x 30 x 1 cm


Thomas Loyatho, A role, Painting

Thomas Loyatho

A role, 2021
55 x 47 x 2.5 cm


Béatrice Bescond, Corona Borealis, Painting

Béatrice Bescond

Corona Borealis, 1998
65 x 54 cm


Luca Cioffi, Phoenix, Painting

Luca Cioffi

Phoenix, 2013
60 x 90 x 0.1 cm


Esy A. Belluzzi, The plant, Painting

Esy A. Belluzzi

The plant, 1976
61 x 44 x 0.1 cm

€525 €700

Paul Buyssens, Nature morte, Painting

Paul Buyssens

Nature morte, 1946
46 x 38 x 0.5 cm


Stefano Di Stasio, May, Painting

Stefano Di Stasio

May, 2016
65 x 50 x 0.3 cm


La Robotte, Tangata Manu - Bird man, Painting

La Robotte

Tangata Manu - Bird man, 2018
100 x 70 x 0.5 cm


Dominique Kermène, Sans titre, Painting

Dominique Kermène

Sans titre, 2015
46 x 33 x 2.5 cm


Diane Rosaz, Tchin - Tchin, Painting

Diane Rosaz

Tchin - Tchin, 2020
80 x 80 x 2.5 cm


Christos Kalfas, Le voyage de l'apprentissage, Painting

Christos Kalfas

Le voyage de l'apprentissage, 2011
40 x 40 cm


Jean-Pierre Serrier, Les enfants du port, Painting

Jean-Pierre Serrier

Les enfants du port, 1967
54 x 64 x 2 cm


Our recommendations Alec Cumming, Sun lounge, Painting

Alec Cumming

Sun lounge, 2019
92 x 107 x 2 cm


Susan Lee Grant, Tracking, Painting

Susan Lee Grant

Tracking, 2018
121.9 x 91.4 x 2.5 cm


Juana Sabina Ortega, Cambio de tiempo / Recortando los dias, Painting

Juana Sabina Ortega

Cambio de tiempo / Recortando los dias, 2016
60 x 30 cm


Alex Manea, Bygone, Painting

Alex Manea

Bygone, 2021
120 x 100 x 2 cm


Valérie Butters, In Spirit and reality, Painting

Valérie Butters

In Spirit and reality, 2019
122 x 122 x 4 cm


Arxlee, Une journée de travail, Painting


Une journée de travail, 2016
46.3 x 66.3 cm


NICHT et Grand Prince, Direction platane, Painting

NICHT et Grand Prince

Direction platane, 2018
70 x 50 cm


Jean-Marie Laugero, Le radeau, Painting

Jean-Marie Laugero

Le radeau, 2017
130 x 150 cm


Michel Rigel, Drôles d’oiseaux, Painting

Michel Rigel

Drôles d’oiseaux, 2021
60 x 81 x 1.5 cm


Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho), Untitled, Painting

Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho)

Untitled, 2013
134 x 101 x 0.3 cm


Onie Jackson, L'apothéose d'Omère, Painting

Onie Jackson

L'apothéose d'Omère, 2019
146 x 97 x 3 cm


Hervé Di Rosa, Simplon 40, Painting

Hervé Di Rosa

Simplon 40, 2012
40 x 40 x 8 cm


Hermann Herzog, Fantastic Fjord, Painting

Hermann Herzog

Fantastic Fjord, 1902
134 x 86 x 0.1 cm


Mauro Maugliani, Ring of Fire, Painting

Mauro Maugliani

Ring of Fire, 2021
100 x 100 x 3 cm


Noty Aroz, El Murcielago, Painting

Noty Aroz

El Murcielago, 2018
74 x 38 x 4 cm


Emmanuelle Messika, L'enfant pluie #8, Painting

Emmanuelle Messika

L'enfant pluie #8, 2007
116 x 89 x 5 cm


Rol, Daredevil, Painting


Daredevil, 2018
114 x 65 x 1 cm


Xaviéz, Retour de Waterloo, Painting


Retour de Waterloo, 2016
70 x 140 cm


MobiClint, The Death With A Pearl, Painting


The Death With A Pearl, 2017
40 x 30 cm


Studio Abawé, Alien, Painting

Studio Abawé

Alien, 2019
99.5 x 70 cm


Yoko d'Holbachie, Spiral girl, Painting

Yoko d'Holbachie

Spiral girl, 2011
33 x 33 x 4 cm


Alessandra Carloni, Dialoghi, Painting

Alessandra Carloni

Dialoghi, 2020
20 x 20 x 4 cm


Shin Seung-Hun, Fantasy Jejuisland - Island Girl Story, Painting

Shin Seung-Hun

Fantasy Jejuisland - Island Girl Story, 2018
60.6 x 50 x 4 cm


Frank P54, Perpetual Struggle, Painting

Frank P54

Perpetual Struggle, 2016
40 x 40 x 3 cm


Alesko, Totem, Painting


Totem, 2020
80 x 80 x 2.5 cm


Ale Senso, Le Voyage dans la Lune, Painting

Ale Senso

Le Voyage dans la Lune, 2014
85 x 30 x 2 cm


Tony Cheung, Ode of Happiness, Painting

Tony Cheung

Ode of Happiness, 2017
25 x 16 x 2 cm


60 Artworks on 2495

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