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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
Painting

€3,700

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Angel BA, Painting

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Angel BA, 2021
92 x 62 cm
Painting

€1,600

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
Painting

€750

Matthew Rose, Deuxième prix, Painting

Matthew Rose

Deuxième prix, 2012
42 x 30 cm
Painting

€1,600

Yaroslava Neli Shai, Geisha, Painting

Yaroslava Neli Shai

Geisha, 2021
120 x 90 x 3 cm
Painting

€2,800

Evgeniya Kapatskaya, Protected by the Force, Painting

Evgeniya Kapatskaya

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

€1,323

Jonathan Truss, Wish upon a star, Painting

Jonathan Truss

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

€704

Michael Wills, Suspended, Painting

Michael Wills

Suspended, 2018
91.4 x 61 cm
Painting

€1,977

Tatiana Samoïlova, Parole, Painting

Tatiana Samoïlova

Parole, 2020
34 x 48 x 0.1 cm
Painting

€200

Julien Cuny, Le Chewing-gum, Painting

Julien Cuny

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

€1,800

Nathalie Roure, 123...Partez, Painting

Nathalie Roure

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

€4,900

Pierre Golvan, Ecoutez le bruissement des racines, Painting

Pierre Golvan

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

€1,560

Marc Ferrero, Le monde de l'accélération, Painting

Marc Ferrero

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

€50,000

Gabrielle Rul, Les pensées, Painting

Gabrielle Rul

Les pensées, 2021
76 x 56 cm
Painting

€600

Benoît Mauduech, The gold bridge, Painting

Benoît Mauduech

The gold bridge, 2019
80 x 80 x 5 cm
Painting

€1,800

Harouna Ouedraogo, Hear from one ear, Painting

Harouna Ouedraogo

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

€1,300

Esy Beluzzi, Pineapple, Painting

Esy Beluzzi

Pineapple, 1977
63 x 44 x 0.2 cm
Painting

€350

Our recommendations Sergio Barletta, Fire Eater, Painting

Sergio Barletta

Fire Eater, 1970
23 x 33 x 0.1 cm
Painting

€563 €750

Anne-Marie Vesco, Déesse ou martyre, Painting

Anne-Marie Vesco

Déesse ou martyre, 2016
19 x 14 x 6 cm
Painting

€700

Gelitin, Gelatin pavillon - some like it hot, Painting

Gelitin

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

€6,000

Keziat, I Dreamed a Strong Wind, Painting

Keziat

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

€1,300

Alkis Matheos, The Sphinx, Painting

Alkis Matheos

The Sphinx, 1950
25 x 33.5 x 0.3 cm
Painting

€350

Alias Lebaudy, Les lymphes, Painting

Alias Lebaudy

Les lymphes, 2019
64 x 50 x 0.2 cm
Painting

€1,200

Francesco Sciortino, Illuminazione XII, Painting

Francesco Sciortino

Illuminazione XII, 2003
50 x 34 x 0.3 cm
Painting

€1,200

Armando Orfeo, Believe Yourself Smart, Painting

Armando Orfeo

Believe Yourself Smart, 2002
50 x 100 x 0.1 cm
Painting

€900 €1,200

Yu Fu, Ange ailé unique, Painting

Yu Fu

Ange ailé unique, 2019
40 x 30 x 1 cm
Painting

€800

Thomas Loyatho, A role, Painting

Thomas Loyatho

A role, 2021
55 x 47 x 2.5 cm
Painting

€550

Béatrice Bescond, Corona Borealis, Painting

Béatrice Bescond

Corona Borealis, 1998
65 x 54 cm
Painting

€1,875

Luca Cioffi, Phoenix, Painting

Luca Cioffi

Phoenix, 2013
60 x 90 x 0.1 cm
Painting

€1,300

Esy A. Belluzzi, The plant, Painting

Esy A. Belluzzi

The plant, 1976
61 x 44 x 0.1 cm
Painting

€525 €700

Paul Buyssens, Nature morte, Painting

Paul Buyssens

Nature morte, 1946
46 x 38 x 0.5 cm
Painting

€380

Stefano Di Stasio, May, Painting

Stefano Di Stasio

May, 2016
65 x 50 x 0.3 cm
Painting

€4,400

La Robotte, Tangata Manu - Bird man, Painting

La Robotte

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

€4,000

Dominique Kermène, Sans titre, Painting

Dominique Kermène

Sans titre, 2015
46 x 33 x 2.5 cm
Painting

€700

Diane Rosaz, Tchin - Tchin, Painting

Diane Rosaz

Tchin - Tchin, 2020
80 x 80 x 2.5 cm
Painting

€1,800

Christos Kalfas, Le voyage de l'apprentissage, Painting

Christos Kalfas

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

€1,800

Jean-Pierre Serrier, Les enfants du port, Painting

Jean-Pierre Serrier

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

€854

Our recommendations Alec Cumming, Sun lounge, Painting

Alec Cumming

Sun lounge, 2019
92 x 107 x 2 cm
Painting

€4,179

Susan Lee Grant, Tracking, Painting

Susan Lee Grant

Tracking, 2018
121.9 x 91.4 x 2.5 cm
Painting

€7,900

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

Juana Sabina Ortega

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

€1,200

Alex Manea, Bygone, Painting

Alex Manea

Bygone, 2021
120 x 100 x 2 cm
Painting

€2,000

Valérie Butters, In Spirit and reality, Painting

Valérie Butters

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

€3,400

Arxlee, Une journée de travail, Painting

Arxlee

Une journée de travail, 2016
46.3 x 66.3 cm
Painting

€3,000

NICHT et Grand Prince, Direction platane, Painting

NICHT et Grand Prince

Direction platane, 2018
70 x 50 cm
Painting

€2,100

Jean-Marie Laugero, Le radeau, Painting

Jean-Marie Laugero

Le radeau, 2017
130 x 150 cm
Painting

€2,300

Michel Rigel, Drôles d’oiseaux, Painting

Michel Rigel

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

€1,800

Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho), Untitled, Painting

Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho)

Untitled, 2013
134 x 101 x 0.3 cm
Painting

€19,000

Onie Jackson, L'apothéose d'Omère, Painting

Onie Jackson

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

€4,100

Hervé Di Rosa, Simplon 40, Painting

Hervé Di Rosa

Simplon 40, 2012
40 x 40 x 8 cm
Painting

€4,000

Hermann Herzog, Fantastic Fjord, Painting

Hermann Herzog

Fantastic Fjord, 1902
134 x 86 x 0.1 cm
Painting

€34,000

Mauro Maugliani, Ring of Fire, Painting

Mauro Maugliani

Ring of Fire, 2021
100 x 100 x 3 cm
Painting

€17,600

Noty Aroz, El Murcielago, Painting

Noty Aroz

El Murcielago, 2018
74 x 38 x 4 cm
Painting

€1,500

Emmanuelle Messika, L'enfant pluie #8, Painting

Emmanuelle Messika

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

€2,900

Rol, Daredevil, Painting

Rol

Daredevil, 2018
114 x 65 x 1 cm
Painting

€3,800

Xaviéz, Retour de Waterloo, Painting

Xaviéz

Retour de Waterloo, 2016
70 x 140 cm
Painting

€4,500

MobiClint, The Death With A Pearl, Painting

MobiClint

The Death With A Pearl, 2017
40 x 30 cm
Painting

€600

Studio Abawé, Alien, Painting

Studio Abawé

Alien, 2019
99.5 x 70 cm
Painting

€780

Yoko d'Holbachie, Spiral girl, Painting

Yoko d'Holbachie

Spiral girl, 2011
33 x 33 x 4 cm
Painting

€900

Alessandra Carloni, Dialoghi, Painting

Alessandra Carloni

Dialoghi, 2020
20 x 20 x 4 cm
Painting

€480

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
Painting

€950

Frank P54, Perpetual Struggle, Painting

Frank P54

Perpetual Struggle, 2016
40 x 40 x 3 cm
Painting

€990

Alesko, Totem, Painting

Alesko

Totem, 2020
80 x 80 x 2.5 cm
Painting

€1,800

Ale Senso, Le Voyage dans la Lune, Painting

Ale Senso

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

€1,300

Tony Cheung, Ode of Happiness, Painting

Tony Cheung

Ode of Happiness, 2017
25 x 16 x 2 cm
Painting

€400

60 Artworks on 2495

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