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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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Erró, Fragments Of Silver, Painting


Fragments Of Silver, 2012
35 x 51.2 x 1.2 inch


Bault, Bestioles, Painting


Bestioles, 2020
39.4 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Etienne Quesnay, Le favori, Painting

Etienne Quesnay

Le favori, 2021
12.2 x 9.1 inch


Nicolas Monjo, Erreur GPS, Painting

Nicolas Monjo

Erreur GPS, 2021
51.2 x 38.2 x 0.8 inch

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Hermann Herzog, Fantastic Fjord, Painting

Hermann Herzog

Fantastic Fjord, 1902
52.8 x 33.9 x 0 inch


Alexander Daniloff, Pesca fortunata, Painting

Alexander Daniloff

Pesca fortunata, 2020
11.8 x 7.9 x 0 inch


Albena Vatcheva, Gémeaux, Painting

Albena Vatcheva

Gémeaux, 2021
16.9 x 16.9 x 0.1 inch

$469 $521

Pinkhas, Epouvantail de bois, Painting


Epouvantail de bois, 2021
13.8 x 7.9 x 0.8 inch

$533 $627

Mireia Serra, Capturing Moments, Painting

Mireia Serra

Capturing Moments, 2018
8 x 6 x 6 inch


Matthieu Ribo, CV19#09, Painting

Matthieu Ribo

CV19#09, 2021
8.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inch


Michèle Magnien (Mileg), Baobabs en clair de lune, Painting

Michèle Magnien (Mileg)

Baobabs en clair de lune, 2013
15.7 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch


Tatiana Samoïlova, Absence, Painting

Tatiana Samoïlova

Absence, 2020
11.4 x 8.7 x 0 inch


Pascal Lee, Exploring Mars, Painting

Pascal Lee

Exploring Mars, 2021
12 x 24 x 0.1 inch


Lobsang Durney, Microbarrio, Painting

Lobsang Durney

Microbarrio, 2020
27 x 39 x 2 inch


Béatrice Fortin, Amazonia dream, Painting

Béatrice Fortin

Amazonia dream, 2018
28.7 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Eric Crémer, Les tribulations du Lama rouge, Painting

Eric Crémer

Les tribulations du Lama rouge, 2019
59.1 x 59.1 x 1.2 inch


Dorian Balsegur, Soirée Cabaret, Painting

Dorian Balsegur

Soirée Cabaret, 2021
59.1 x 47.2 x 0.8 inch

$3,387 $3,764

Herach Karapetian, Sans titre, Painting

Herach Karapetian

Sans titre, 2005
45.3 x 59.1 inch


Lorena Krause, Fauna Crowned III - Axolotl, Painting

Lorena Krause

Fauna Crowned III - Axolotl, 2018
20.9 x 14.2 x 1.6 inch


Ahyoung Jo, Beyond the Ferris wheel, Painting

Ahyoung Jo

Beyond the Ferris wheel, 2013
51.2 x 51.2 x 1 inch


Anna Luhovska, Transmission, Painting

Anna Luhovska

Transmission, 2019
43.3 x 55.1 x 2 inch


Levalet, Embouteillage, Painting


Embouteillage, 2020
39.4 x 19.7 inch


Gabrielle Rul, De la Haut, Painting

Gabrielle Rul

De la Haut, 2021
48 x 33.5 x 0.1 inch


Gelitin, Gelatin pavillon - some like it hot, Painting


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


Harouna Ouedraogo, Hear from one ear, Painting

Harouna Ouedraogo

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


Susan Lee Grant, Tracking, Painting

Susan Lee Grant

Tracking, 2018
48 x 36 x 1 inch


Anne-Marie Vesco, Déesse ou martyre, Painting

Anne-Marie Vesco

Déesse ou martyre, 2016
7.5 x 5.5 x 2.4 inch


La Robotte, Tangata Manu - Bird man, Painting

La Robotte

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


Alec Cumming, Fresh air, New light, Painting

Alec Cumming

Fresh air, New light, 2020
59.8 x 59.8 x 1.6 inch


Paul Buyssens, Nature morte, Painting

Paul Buyssens

Nature morte, 1946
18.1 x 15 x 0.2 inch


Andrew Weir, Fish N Chips for dinner - Hold the vinegar, Painting

Andrew Weir

Fish N Chips for dinner - Hold the vinegar, 2018
18.9 x 14.2 x 0 inch


Ram Singh Urveti, Le Paon, Painting

Ram Singh Urveti

Le Paon, 2019
36 x 29.9 x 2 inch


Laurent de Raucourt, Objet rituel, Painting

Laurent de Raucourt

Objet rituel, 2018
18.1 x 15 x 0.4 inch


Yu Fu, Ange ailé unique, Painting

Yu Fu

Ange ailé unique, 2019
15.7 x 11.8 x 0.4 inch


Andrée Bars, La fin de l'innocence, Painting

Andrée Bars

La fin de l'innocence, 2017
35 x 45.7 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


Nikolai Dimchevski - Nika, Revelation, Painting

Nikolai Dimchevski - Nika

Revelation, 2020
7.9 x 7.9 x 1 inch


Dominique Kermène, Sans titre 02, Painting

Dominique Kermène

Sans titre 02, 2016
28.7 x 36.2 inch


Stefano Di Stasio, May, Painting

Stefano Di Stasio

May, 2016
25.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch


Sylvain Loisant, Nature morte en forêt, Painting

Sylvain Loisant

Nature morte en forêt, 2018
11.8 x 15.7 x 0 inch


Frédéric Michel-Langlet, Borderline, Painting

Frédéric Michel-Langlet

Borderline, 2017
36.6 x 59.1 x 1.6 inch


Alex Manea, Bygone, Painting

Alex Manea

Bygone, 2021
47.2 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Pierre Lan, Perséphone, Painting

Pierre Lan

Perséphone, 2020
70.9 x 94.5 x 0.8 inch


Béatrice Bescond, N.Y. 2001, Painting

Béatrice Bescond

N.Y. 2001, 2002
51.2 x 51.2 x 0.8 inch


Eliane Larus, Paradis avec Adam allongé, Painting

Eliane Larus

Paradis avec Adam allongé, 2018
31.5 x 31.5 inch


NICHT et Grand Prince, Direction platane, Painting

NICHT et Grand Prince

Direction platane, 2018
27.6 x 19.7 inch


Xaviéz, Retour de Waterloo, Painting


Retour de Waterloo, 2016
27.6 x 55.1 inch


Armando Orfeo, Believe Yourself Smart, Painting

Armando Orfeo

Believe Yourself Smart, 2002
19.7 x 39.4 x 0 inch


Arxlee, Une journée de travail, Painting


Une journée de travail, 2016
18.2 x 26.1 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


Vahid Chamani, Amino Acid, Painting

Vahid Chamani

Amino Acid, 2016
19.7 x 39.4 inch


Onie Jackson, L'apothéose d'Omère, Painting

Onie Jackson

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


Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho), Untitled, Painting

Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho)

Untitled, 2013
52.8 x 39.8 x 0.1 inch


Jean-Marie Laugero, Le radeau, Painting

Jean-Marie Laugero

Le radeau, 2017
51.2 x 59.1 inch


Juana Sabina Ortega, Y si se cayeran, Painting

Juana Sabina Ortega

Y si se cayeran, 2016
31.3 x 42.1 inch


Francesco Sciortino, Illuminazione XII, Painting

Francesco Sciortino

Illuminazione XII, 2003
19.7 x 13.4 x 0.1 inch


Christos Kalfas, Le voyage de l'apprentissage, Painting

Christos Kalfas

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


Esy A. Belluzzi, The plant, Painting

Esy A. Belluzzi

The plant, 1976
24 x 17.3 x 0 inch


Michel Rigel, Drôles d’oiseaux, Painting

Michel Rigel

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


Rebecca de Cachard, Arbre de vie, Painting

Rebecca de Cachard

Arbre de vie, 2016
39.4 x 31.5 x 1.2 inch


Our recommendations Michaël Brack, Méduse, Painting

Michaël Brack

Méduse, 2012
15.7 x 11.8 inch


Noty Aroz, El Murcielago, Painting

Noty Aroz

El Murcielago, 2018
29.1 x 15 x 1.6 inch


60 Artworks on 2204

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