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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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Marianne Lefevre, Si loin, Painting

Marianne Lefevre

Si loin, 2021
60 x 90 x 2 cm
Painting

$897

Antoine De Tyssandier, Ukiyo, Painting

Antoine De Tyssandier

Ukiyo, 2020
130 x 97 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,711

Albena Vatcheva, Portrait aux perles, Painting

Albena Vatcheva

Portrait aux perles, 2021
80 x 80 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$4,188

Alexandra Battezzati, La mer et son arbre, Painting

Alexandra Battezzati

La mer et son arbre, 2021
100 x 100 x 4 cm
Painting

$4,667

Noël Granger, Spirale Or, Painting

Noël Granger

Spirale Or, 2016
60 x 90 x 3 cm
Painting

$503

Ryohei Matsumoto, A Flower Falls and Flows to Water, Painting

Ryohei Matsumoto

A Flower Falls and Flows to Water, 2021
91 x 72.7 x 4 cm
Painting

$4,607

Nicole Benjamin, Sunfish, Painting

Nicole Benjamin

Sunfish, 2021
60 x 80 x 4 cm
Painting

$4,786

Anastasiya Akulova, Anna, Painting

Anastasiya Akulova

Anna, 2021
85 x 75 cm
Painting

$1,400 $1,556

Kayava, Veni, vidi, veci, Painting

Kayava

Veni, vidi, veci, 2016
61 x 51 x 4 cm
Painting

$1,378

Bernard Vié, Paséo, Painting

Bernard Vié

Paséo, 2019
116 x 89 x 4 cm
Painting

$4,786

Jonas Profil, The love for money, Painting

Jonas Profil

The love for money, 2016
51 x 41 x 4 cm
Painting

$2,158

J Eleme, Bestiaire VIII, Painting

J Eleme

Bestiaire VIII, 2021
80 x 80 x 2 cm
Painting

$838

François Lestrille, Accomplissement, Painting

François Lestrille

Accomplissement, 2020
115 x 75 x 4 cm
Painting

$1,436

Rod Cusic, Universe fate theories, Painting

Rod Cusic

Universe fate theories, 2021
61 x 61 x 5.1 cm
Painting

$1,200

Luisa-Fernanda Debarnot, Le toit, Painting

Luisa-Fernanda Debarnot

Le toit, 2019
100 x 100 x 3 cm
Painting

$5,983

Makenol Profil, Haitian market, Painting

Makenol Profil

Haitian market, 2012
91 x 61 x 4 cm
Painting

$6,380

Sylvie Cappe, La fille au dragon, Painting

Sylvie Cappe

La fille au dragon, 2021
29 x 42 x 0.1 cm
Painting

$498

Nesly Richard, Underlies, Painting

Nesly Richard

Underlies, 2013
152 x 203 x 4 cm
Painting

$8,360

Nicolas Moreau, Galaxie Pixel, Painting

Nicolas Moreau

Galaxie Pixel, 2014
120 x 250 cm
Painting

$5,983

Houda Terjuman, Run run to Golden lands, Painting

Houda Terjuman

Run run to Golden lands, 2021
75 x 85 cm
Painting

$3,500

Gino Tintin, Vibration Petro, Painting

Gino Tintin

Vibration Petro, 2015
127 x 102 x 4 cm
Painting

$6,673

Leo Ray, The big bird, Painting

Leo Ray

The big bird, 2018
50 x 70 x 3 cm
Painting

$3,000

Nicolas Monjo, MDI 21, Painting

Nicolas Monjo

MDI 21, 2021
114 x 162 x 2 cm
Painting

$3,590

Gabrielle Rul, De la Haut, Painting

Gabrielle Rul

De la Haut, 2021
122 x 85 x 0.3 cm
Painting

$1,795

Antoine Josse, L'incompétence de l'eau, Painting

Antoine Josse

L'incompétence de l'eau, 2020
61 x 82 x 3 cm
Painting

$2,273

Our recommendations Laurent Bouro, Les arbres 1.9, Painting

Laurent Bouro

Les arbres 1.9, 2021
120 x 80 x 4 cm
Painting

$4,427

Studio Abawé, Alien, Painting

Studio Abawé

Alien, 2019
99.5 x 70 cm
Painting

$933

Janusz Orzechowski, Eight years later, Painting

Janusz Orzechowski

Eight years later, 2016
90 x 160 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,154

Aurélie Lafourcade, Mother & child, Painting

Aurélie Lafourcade

Mother & child, 2020
73 x 53 cm
Painting

$1,244

Benoît Mauduech, The gold bridge, Painting

Benoît Mauduech

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

$2,154

Kerry Darlington, Lost Worlds, Painting

Kerry Darlington

Lost Worlds, 2020
64 x 64 x 5 cm
Painting

$1,386

Harouna Ouedraogo, Hear from one ear, Painting

Harouna Ouedraogo

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

$1,556

Jonathan Truss, Prince of Tides, Painting

Jonathan Truss

Prince of Tides, 2021
60 x 45 x 5 cm
Painting

$822

Andrew Weir, Equal measures of misery and divinity, Painting

Andrew Weir

Equal measures of misery and divinity, 2018
48 x 36 cm
Painting

$515

Anne-Marie Vesco, Déesse ou martyre, Painting

Anne-Marie Vesco

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

$838

Maciej Swieszewski, Composition, Painting

Maciej Swieszewski

Composition, 2012
13 x 18 cm
Painting

$2,393

Gelitin, Gelatin pavillon - some like it hot, Painting

Gelitin

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

$7,179

Michèle Magnien (Mileg), Boas au lac - diptyque, Painting

Michèle Magnien (Mileg)

Boas au lac - diptyque, 2017
60 x 90 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,185

Alias Lebaudy, Les lymphes, Painting

Alias Lebaudy

Les lymphes, 2019
64 x 50 x 0.2 cm
Painting

$1,436

Willy Charps, Les pensées sont des bombes, Painting

Willy Charps

Les pensées sont des bombes, 2016
81 x 65 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,436

Michal  Sikorski, I would like to tell you something, Painting

Michal Sikorski

I would like to tell you something, 2007
80 x 120 cm
Painting

$2,154

Yu Fu, Ange ailé unique, Painting

Yu Fu

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

$957

Béatrice Bescond, Corona Borealis, Painting

Béatrice Bescond

Corona Borealis, 1998
65 x 54 cm
Painting

$2,244

Paul Buyssens, Nature morte, Painting

Paul Buyssens

Nature morte, 1946
46 x 38 x 0.5 cm
Painting

$440

Giuseppe Gruciani, Le Farfalle volano per te, Painting

Giuseppe Gruciani

Le Farfalle volano per te, 2019
50 x 50 x 2 cm
Painting

$419

Dominique Kermène, Sans titre, Painting

Dominique Kermène

Sans titre, 2015
46 x 33 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$838

Armen Gasparian, Deux femmes, Painting

Armen Gasparian

Deux femmes, 2017
90 x 70 x 2 cm
Painting

$6,342

Diane Rosaz, Tchin - Tchin, Painting

Diane Rosaz

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

$2,154

Jean-Pierre Serrier, Les enfants du port, Painting

Jean-Pierre Serrier

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

$990

Our recommendations Alec Cumming, Sun lounge, Painting

Alec Cumming

Sun lounge, 2019
92 x 107 x 2 cm
Painting

$4,877

Kléa d'Orphell Madar, Eclosion d'amour, Painting

Kléa d'Orphell Madar

Eclosion d'amour, 2013
76 x 45 x 2 cm
Painting

$704

Our recommendations Susan Lee Grant, Silver Thread III, Painting

Susan Lee Grant

Silver Thread III, 2019
121.9 x 91.4 x 4 cm
Painting

$9,333

Christos Kalfas, Le voyage de l'apprentissage, Painting

Christos Kalfas

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

$2,154

La Robotte, Tangata Manu - Bird man, Painting

La Robotte

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

$4,786

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

$1,436

David Roland, Episode 3, Painting

David Roland

Episode 3, 2021
30 x 30 x 0.2 cm
Painting

$622

Valérie Butters, In Spirit and reality, Painting

Valérie Butters

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

$4,068

Hervé Di Rosa, Simplon 40, Painting

Hervé Di Rosa

Simplon 40, 2012
40 x 40 x 8 cm
Painting

$4,786

Tof Vanmarque, Aux portes de Saint Pierre, Painting

Tof Vanmarque

Aux portes de Saint Pierre, 2016
97 x 130 x 2 cm
Painting

$4,547

Michel Rigel, Drôles d’oiseaux, Painting

Michel Rigel

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

$2,154

Noty Aroz, El Murcielago, Painting

Noty Aroz

El Murcielago, 2018
74 x 38 x 4 cm
Painting

$1,795

Arxlee, Une journée de travail, Painting

Arxlee

Une journée de travail, 2016
46.3 x 66.3 cm
Painting

$3,590

Antoine Hommet, Madone N°2, Painting

Antoine Hommet

Madone N°2, 2021
195 x 130 x 2 cm
Painting

10,000 - $ 15,000

Gully, Children Meet Magritte, Painting

Gully

Children Meet Magritte, 2017
120 x 180 x 4 cm
Painting

$43,076

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