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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
47.2 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch


Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Angel BA, Painting

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Angel BA, 2021
36.2 x 24.4 inch


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

François-Régis Lemonnier

Un soir au bout du monde, 2021
19.7 x 19.7 x 2 inch


Matthew Rose, Deuxième prix, Painting

Matthew Rose

Deuxième prix, 2012
16.5 x 11.8 inch


Yaroslava Neli Shai, Geisha, Painting

Yaroslava Neli Shai

Geisha, 2021
47.2 x 35.4 x 1.2 inch


Jonathan Truss, Wish upon a star, Painting

Jonathan Truss

Wish upon a star, 2021
17.7 x 27.2 x 2 inch


José Rodríguez, Syncretism, Painting

José Rodríguez

Syncretism, 2018
29.9 x 22 inch


Michael Wills, Suspended, Painting

Michael Wills

Suspended, 2018
36 x 24 inch


Evgeniya Kapatskaya, A pink mouse jumped out of her mouth while singing. Based on the play Faust by Goethe, Painting

Evgeniya Kapatskaya

A pink mouse jumped out of her mouth while singing. Based on the play Faust by Goethe, 2020
27.6 x 23.6 x 0.8 inch


Pierre Golvan, Ecoutez le bruissement des racines, Painting

Pierre Golvan

Ecoutez le bruissement des racines, 2019
23.6 x 23.6 x 0.8 inch


Julien Cuny, Le Chewing-gum, Painting

Julien Cuny

Le Chewing-gum, 2020
47.2 x 47.2 x 1 inch


Geneviève Baudry, Forêt étrange, Painting

Geneviève Baudry

Forêt étrange, 2021
29.5 x 19.7 x 0.4 inch


Nicolas Monjo, La promenade, Painting

Nicolas Monjo

La promenade, 2019
45.7 x 35 x 0.8 inch


Gabrielle Rul, Les pensées, Painting

Gabrielle Rul

Les pensées, 2021
29.9 x 22 inch


Benoît Mauduech, The gold bridge, Painting

Benoît Mauduech

The gold bridge, 2019
31.5 x 31.5 x 2 inch


Harouna Ouedraogo, Hear from one ear, Painting

Harouna Ouedraogo

Hear from one ear, 2020
31.9 x 25.6 x 0.8 inch


Esy Beluzzi, Pineapple, Painting

Esy Beluzzi

Pineapple, 1977
24.8 x 17.3 x 0.1 inch


Our recommendations Sergio Barletta, Fire Eater, Painting

Sergio Barletta

Fire Eater, 1970
9.1 x 13 x 0 inch


Anne-Marie Vesco, Déesse ou martyre, Painting

Anne-Marie Vesco

Déesse ou martyre, 2016
7.5 x 5.5 x 2.4 inch


Gelitin, Gelatin pavillon - some like it hot, Painting


Gelatin pavillon - some like it hot, 2011
40.1 x 28.7 inch


Keziat, I Dreamed a Strong Wind, Painting


I Dreamed a Strong Wind, 2020
15.7 x 19.7 x 0 inch


Alias Lebaudy, Les lymphes, Painting

Alias Lebaudy

Les lymphes, 2019
25.2 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch


Francesco Sciortino, Illuminazione XII, Painting

Francesco Sciortino

Illuminazione XII, 2003
19.7 x 13.4 x 0.1 inch


Armando Orfeo, Believe Yourself Smart, Painting

Armando Orfeo

Believe Yourself Smart, 2002
19.7 x 39.4 x 0 inch


Yu Fu, Ange ailé unique, Painting

Yu Fu

Ange ailé unique, 2019
15.7 x 11.8 x 0.4 inch


Thomas Loyatho, A role, Painting

Thomas Loyatho

A role, 2021
21.7 x 18.5 x 1 inch


Béatrice Bescond, Corona Borealis, Painting

Béatrice Bescond

Corona Borealis, 1998
25.6 x 21.3 inch


Luca Cioffi, Phoenix, Painting

Luca Cioffi

Phoenix, 2013
23.6 x 35.4 x 0 inch


Esy A. Belluzzi, The plant, Painting

Esy A. Belluzzi

The plant, 1976
24 x 17.3 x 0 inch


Paul Buyssens, Nature morte, Painting

Paul Buyssens

Nature morte, 1946
18.1 x 15 x 0.2 inch


Stefano Di Stasio, May, Painting

Stefano Di Stasio

May, 2016
25.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch


La Robotte, Tangata Manu - Bird man, Painting

La Robotte

Tangata Manu - Bird man, 2018
39.4 x 27.6 x 0.2 inch


Dominique Kermène, Sans titre, Painting

Dominique Kermène

Sans titre, 2015
18.1 x 13 x 1 inch


Diane Rosaz, Tchin - Tchin, Painting

Diane Rosaz

Tchin - Tchin, 2020
31.5 x 31.5 x 1 inch


Christos Kalfas, Le voyage de l'apprentissage, Painting

Christos Kalfas

Le voyage de l'apprentissage, 2011
15.7 x 15.7 inch


Jean-Pierre Serrier, Les enfants du port, Painting

Jean-Pierre Serrier

Les enfants du port, 1967
21.3 x 25.2 x 0.8 inch


Our recommendations Alec Cumming, Sun lounge, Painting

Alec Cumming

Sun lounge, 2019
36.2 x 42.1 x 0.8 inch


Susan Lee Grant, Tracking, Painting

Susan Lee Grant

Tracking, 2018
48 x 36 x 1 inch


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

Juana Sabina Ortega

Cambio de tiempo / Recortando los dias, 2016
23.6 x 11.8 inch


Alex Manea, Bygone, Painting

Alex Manea

Bygone, 2021
47.2 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Valérie Butters, In Spirit and reality, Painting

Valérie Butters

In Spirit and reality, 2019
48 x 48 x 1.6 inch


Arxlee, Une journée de travail, Painting


Une journée de travail, 2016
18.2 x 26.1 inch


NICHT et Grand Prince, Direction platane, Painting

NICHT et Grand Prince

Direction platane, 2018
27.6 x 19.7 inch


Hervé Di Rosa, Simplon 40, Painting

Hervé Di Rosa

Simplon 40, 2012
15.7 x 15.7 x 3.1 inch


Jean-Marie Laugero, Le radeau, Painting

Jean-Marie Laugero

Le radeau, 2017
51.2 x 59.1 inch


Michel Rigel, Drôles d’oiseaux, Painting

Michel Rigel

Drôles d’oiseaux, 2021
23.6 x 31.9 x 0.6 inch


Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho), Untitled, Painting

Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho)

Untitled, 2013
52.8 x 39.8 x 0.1 inch


Onie Jackson, L'apothéose d'Omère, Painting

Onie Jackson

L'apothéose d'Omère, 2019
57.5 x 38.2 x 1.2 inch


Hermann Herzog, Fantastic Fjord, Painting

Hermann Herzog

Fantastic Fjord, 1902
52.8 x 33.9 x 0 inch


Mauro Maugliani, Ring of Fire, Painting

Mauro Maugliani

Ring of Fire, 2021
39.4 x 39.4 x 1.2 inch

$19,092 $21,213

Noty Aroz, El Murcielago, Painting

Noty Aroz

El Murcielago, 2018
29.1 x 15 x 1.6 inch


Emmanuelle Messika, L'enfant pluie #8, Painting

Emmanuelle Messika

L'enfant pluie #8, 2007
45.7 x 35 x 2 inch


Rol, Daredevil, Painting


Daredevil, 2018
44.9 x 25.6 x 0.4 inch


Xaviéz, Retour de Waterloo, Painting


Retour de Waterloo, 2016
27.6 x 55.1 inch


MobiClint, The Death With A Pearl, Painting


The Death With A Pearl, 2017
15.7 x 11.8 inch


Studio Abawé, Alien, Painting

Studio Abawé

Alien, 2019
39.2 x 27.6 inch


Apostolos Chantzaras, Myth and Games II, Painting

Apostolos Chantzaras

Myth and Games II, 2015
23.6 x 24.4 x 0.4 inch


Alessandra Carloni, Dialoghi, Painting

Alessandra Carloni

Dialoghi, 2020
7.9 x 7.9 x 1.6 inch


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

Shin Seung-Hun

Fantasy Jejuisland - Island Girl Story, 2018
23.9 x 19.7 x 1.6 inch


Frank P54, Perpetual Struggle, Painting

Frank P54

Perpetual Struggle, 2016
15.7 x 15.7 x 1.2 inch


Yoko d'Holbachie, Spiral girl, Painting

Yoko d'Holbachie

Spiral girl, 2011
13 x 13 x 1.6 inch


Ale Senso, Le Voyage dans la Lune, Painting

Ale Senso

Le Voyage dans la Lune, 2014
33.5 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch


Tony Cheung, Ode of Happiness, Painting

Tony Cheung

Ode of Happiness, 2017
9.8 x 6.3 x 0.8 inch


Nosbe, Aïe, Painting


Aïe, 2020
9.4 x 7.5 x 1.6 inch


60 Artworks on 2491

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