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Fantastical Beasts

The bestiary can be considered to exist as a literary genre from the Middles-Ages on. Indeed, we can find examples in manuscripts dating from that period. These writings summarise the characteristics of each creature, and sometimes the fables and morals associated to them. Consequently, these manuscripts represent our collective profound interest for the classification and analysis of the animal world. But the idea of a bestiary, especially of fantastical beasts, has its origins rooted in times as ancient as the day men began to tell stories about the creatures they saw. Ancient Egyptian spiritual culture, for example, is filled with fantastic creatures such as the sphinx; a hybrid species also present in Greek mythology!

Just as the men of the Paleolithic decorated the walls of the Lascaux cave with the silhouettes of the animals they encountered, the interest in illustrating the animal world, real and imagined, has continued to inspire artists to this day. In the Renaissance, interest in curiosities (exotic or otherwise-particular objects and items) was the catalyst for a number of collections, and studies of flora and fauna. And although the animals were not fantastical per se, they were still imagined beasts - fantasized, even! Indeed, it isn't easy to paint a rhinoceros without having ever seen one, basing one's practice solely on the theatrical accounts of the rare travelers back from Africa…

Today, artists around the world draw inspiration from the mythical creatures of the collective imagination. They regularly invent new conceptions of the animal world, conceptions that push the boundaries of the supernatural. It must be said that a bestiary, especially of fantastical beasts, attracts an audience of all ages. For the little ones, it feeds the imagination. For the adults, depending on the work, it can offer an escape from daily life, a trip back to childhood, or even an invitation to reflection or spiritual thought!

In terms of decor, a work of art inspired by fantastical beasts gives a dreamlike dimension to an interior. In a children's bedroom, for example, it will inspire many dreams, and offer young spirits a window view of imagination that they can contemplate and re-interpret over and over again. In a living room, it will bring a unique and extravagant touch to your walls, and will certainly be the starter of many conversations with your guests.

If you're only just discovering the world of fantastical beasts, you may need some advice… Start, then, with the zodiac scenes of Raymond Peynet. For a more traditional feel and a more tribal aesthetic, may we suggest the paintings of Indian artist Ram Singh Urveti? If it's the majesty of mythology that inspires you, talk a walk through Salvador Dalí's sculptures, and if you would rather go for a lighter genre of animal representation, look no further than Emilie Bouguereau's terrestrial paradise-meets-safari watercolors!

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Bruno Mallart, A pavane dorée, ramage dansant, Print

Bruno Mallart

A pavane dorée, ramage dansant, 2018
59.1 x 29.5 inch
Print

$4,964

Aurélie Sarramon, Sans titre 5, Photography

Aurélie Sarramon

Sans titre 5, 2016
14.2 x 9.4 inch
Photography

$74

Val Carr-Ortolan, Le Minotaure, Sculpture

Val Carr-Ortolan

Le Minotaure, 2021
23.6 x 11.8 x 10.6 inch
Sculpture

$2,110

Allison M. Low, Journey to Paradise, Print

Allison M. Low

Journey to Paradise, 2020
16.5 x 16.5 x 0.4 inch
Print

$247

Camilla Falsini, Dragon, Print

Camilla Falsini

Dragon, 2019
18.1 x 14.6 inch
Print

$124

Allison M. Low, The Frog Prince - Oddlings Series, Fine Art Drawings

Allison M. Low

The Frog Prince - Oddlings Series, 2019
30.3 x 22.4 x 0.4 inch
Fine Art Drawings

$1,849

Ram Singh Urveti, Le Paon, Painting

Ram Singh Urveti

Le Paon, 2019
36 x 29.9 x 2 inch
Painting

$3,599

Thaddée, Bonne mère, Print

Thaddée

Bonne mère, 2018
27 x 23.6 inch
Print

$1,489

Beata Bieniak, Flying Circus, Photography

Beata Bieniak

Flying Circus, 2011
18 x 16 inch
Photography

$745

Dariusz Klimczak, Hippohome, Photography

Dariusz Klimczak

Hippohome, 2012
18 x 16 inch
Photography

$745

Sabrina Pirlot, Ma poule -  C'est la terre qui nous porte, Painting

Sabrina Pirlot

Ma poule - C'est la terre qui nous porte, 2017
39.4 x 39.4 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$1,241

Marcin Owczarek, Journey till the End of Night, Photography

Marcin Owczarek

Journey till the End of Night, 2016
26 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch
Photography

$2,668

Japani Shyam, La serre ou l'arbre sacré, Painting

Japani Shyam

La serre ou l'arbre sacré, 2014
23.6 x 35.4 inch
Painting

$1,862

Mauro Ricco Zaraj, Porte Du Lion Cosmique, Painting

Mauro Ricco Zaraj

Porte Du Lion Cosmique, 2016
35.4 x 35.4 x 0.6 inch
Painting

$6,067

Sherry Akrami, Sleeping Beauty, Photography

Sherry Akrami

Sleeping Beauty, 2016
14.2 x 11.8 inch
Photography

$621

Hamilton Becerra, Minotaur II, Photography

Hamilton Becerra

Minotaur II, 2019
15.7 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch
Photography

$2,110

Gariba Singh Tekam, Arbre sacré - The Saja tree, Painting

Gariba Singh Tekam

Arbre sacré - The Saja tree, 2013
48 x 36.6 x 2 inch
Painting

$1,489

Martin Whatson, The stag, Print

Martin Whatson

The stag, 2020
27.6 x 27.6 inch
Print

$3,950

Salvador Dali, Les songes drôlatiques de Pantagruel - W-Guillaume Tell, Print

Salvador Dali

Les songes drôlatiques de Pantagruel - W-Guillaume Tell, 1973
29.9 x 21.3 inch
Print

$7,447

Salvador Dali, La Licorne, Sculpture

Salvador Dali

La Licorne, 1984
22.4 x 18.9 x 13.2 inch
Sculpture

$48,850

Salvador Dali, Les songes drôlatiques de Pantagruel - X-Requin chinois, Print

Salvador Dali

Les songes drôlatiques de Pantagruel - X-Requin chinois, 1973
29.9 x 21.3 inch
Print

$7,447

Speedy Graphito, Toto Lapinture, Print

Speedy Graphito

Toto Lapinture, 2019
18.5 x 14.6 inch
Print

$285

Charlotte Champion, Elmer, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Elmer, 2019
16.7 x 15.7 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$3,599

Bruno Mallart, Le lion rouge, Print

Bruno Mallart

Le lion rouge, 2017
31.1 x 31.1 inch
Print

$3,475

Gediminas Endriekus, Minotaur | Sculpture Bronze, Sculpture

Gediminas Endriekus

Minotaur | Sculpture Bronze, 2018
11.8 x 3.2 x 7.7 inch
Sculpture

$4,344

Supocaos, Animals, Print

Supocaos

Animals, 2018
25.6 x 19.7 x 0 inch
Print

$683

Ram Singh Urveti, Nature, Painting

Ram Singh Urveti

Nature, 2019
36 x 24 x 2 inch
Painting

$3,599

James Jean, Lory, Print

James Jean

Lory, 2020
14 x 11 x 0.1 inch
Print

$2,606

Richard Texier, Mille chats, Print

Richard Texier

Mille chats, 2011
19.7 x 13 inch
Print

$559

Our recommendations Dran, Poulet-Dinosaure, Print

Dran

Poulet-Dinosaure, 2011
22.04 x 29.52 inch
Print

$1,650

Karo Trass, Pieuvre bleue, Painting

Karo Trass

Pieuvre bleue, 2020
19.3 x 25.2 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$372

Albena Vatcheva, Au Pays des Poissons Volants, Painting

Albena Vatcheva

Au Pays des Poissons Volants, 2020
13.4 x 13.4 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$515

Amogh Katyayan, The King, Painting

Amogh Katyayan

The King, 2020
24 x 24 x 1.5 inch
Painting

$450

Rafal Olbinski, Black horse, Print

Rafal Olbinski

Black horse, 2020
9.4 x 7.1 inch
Print

$434

Akiza, Griffe Noire, Painting

Akiza

Griffe Noire, 2020
25.6 x 13.4 x 0.4 inch
Painting

$695

Akiza, Anhkiza, Painting

Akiza

Anhkiza, 2019
11.8 x 11.8 x 0.1 inch
Painting

$248

Lucas Ninin, Quetzalcoatl, Print

Lucas Ninin

Quetzalcoatl, 2018
27.6 x 19.7 inch
Print

$112

Timothy Archer, Le brame du cerf, Painting

Timothy Archer

Le brame du cerf, 2018
25.6 x 19.7 x 0 inch
Painting

$3,599

Hugh Turvey, Magic With, Photography

Hugh Turvey

Magic With, 2014
25.6 x 25.6 inch
Photography

$931

Hugh Turvey, The Fastest Sagittal (Peregrine Falcon), Photography

Hugh Turvey

The Fastest Sagittal (Peregrine Falcon), 2014
31.5 x 31.5 inch
Photography

$1,720

Pierre Le Preux, Turbulences - Bestiaire, Painting

Pierre Le Preux

Turbulences - Bestiaire, 2018
39.4 x 59.1 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$4,592

Lilia Mazurkevich, Snow Maiden, Painting

Lilia Mazurkevich

Snow Maiden, 2019
25 x 20 x 3 inch
Painting

$8,526

Dariusz Klimczak, Evening Stroll, Photography

Dariusz Klimczak

Evening Stroll, 2012
14 x 12 inch
Photography

$496

Dariusz Klimczak, Equilibrium, Photography

Dariusz Klimczak

Equilibrium, 2012
14 x 12 inch
Photography

$621

Kerry Darlington, Flight of the Dragons, Print

Kerry Darlington

Flight of the Dragons, 2019
26 x 35.4 x 0.8 inch
Print

$1,712

Carlos Antonio Sablon Perez, Le Gardien, Painting

Carlos Antonio Sablon Perez

Le Gardien, 2014
30.7 x 30.7 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$9,681

Katell Le Goarnig, Théâtre forain, Painting

Katell Le Goarnig

Théâtre forain, 2013
35 x 35 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$12,908

Noël Granger, Le Dragon livrant bataille, Painting

Noël Granger

Le Dragon livrant bataille, 2014
15.7 x 11.8 inch
Painting

$261

Georges Saulterre, N°1095, Sculpture

Georges Saulterre

N°1095, 2009
19.7 x 21.7 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$21,099

Kira Ren, Happy unicorn, Painting

Kira Ren

Happy unicorn, 2020
31.5 x 19.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,613

Raymond Peynet, Capricorne, Print

Raymond Peynet

Capricorne, 1985
20.5 x 15 x 0 inch
Print

$7,447

Raymond Peynet, Taureau, Print

Raymond Peynet

Taureau, 1985
20.5 x 15 x 0 inch
Print

$7,447

Félix Hemme, Bête Aquatique Clitoridienne II, Sculpture

Félix Hemme

Bête Aquatique Clitoridienne II, 2020
7.9 x 3.9 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,117

Julien Saro, Corps directionnel, Fine Art Drawings

Julien Saro

Corps directionnel, 1988
29.9 x 22.4 x 0.4 inch
Fine Art Drawings

$769

Petraeus, Mr Lapin. Looking for Alice, Painting

Petraeus

Mr Lapin. Looking for Alice, 2018
19.3 x 15.4 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$732

Petraeus, Mr Sanglier, Painting

Petraeus

Mr Sanglier, 2018
21.7 x 18.1 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$608

David Salcedo, 3 - 08, Photography

David Salcedo

3 - 08, 2017
3.9 x 5.9 x 0.4 inch
Photography

$177

Georges Saulterre, N°1594, Fine Art Drawings

Georges Saulterre

N°1594, 2018
29.9 x 22.8 x 0 inch
Fine Art Drawings

$5,585

Tomislav Petranovic Rvat, Ptica, Print

Tomislav Petranovic Rvat

Ptica, 1974
25.4 x 17.7 x 0 inch
Print

$496

Michael Levchenko, My Morning Philosophical Mood, Painting

Michael Levchenko

My Morning Philosophical Mood, 2018
31.5 x 23.6 inch
Painting

$4,200

Loran Meldrid, La Dent Verte, Painting

Loran Meldrid

La Dent Verte, 2019
31.9 x 25.6 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,862

Vasilis Zografos, Untitled, Painting

Vasilis Zografos

Untitled, 2017
9.8 x 7.9 inch
Painting

$1,117

Mauro Ricco Zaraj, Phoenix, Oiseau De Feu, Painting

Mauro Ricco Zaraj

Phoenix, Oiseau De Feu, 2014
27.6 x 39.4 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$993 $1,240

Kirsteen Titchener, Busy - from The Missing Series, Photography

Kirsteen Titchener

Busy - from The Missing Series, 2017
23.2 x 16.5 inch
Photography

$473

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