Fantasy Art


Fantasy art

Fantasy art
is a genre of art that depicts magical or other supernatural themes, ideas, creatures or settings. While there is some overlap with science fiction, horror and other speculative fiction art, there are unique elements not generally found in other forms of speculative fiction art. Depictions of ancient myths and legends, as well as depictions of modern day fantasy in the form of divine interventions and other magical or supernatural forces, are very common elements, and help distinguish fantasy art from other forms. Dragons, wizards, fairies and other fantastical and mythical creatures are common features in fantasy art.

Fantasy art is strongly linked to fantasy fiction. Indeed fantasy art pieces are often intended to represent specific characters or scenes from works of fantasy literature. Such works created by amateur artists may be called fanart.

There is a large subculture based around the creation of amateur fantasy art. This is largely centred around websites such as Elf wood. Such sites are noticeably less male-dominated than some other pursuits related to the fantasy genre.

Fantasy art should not be confused with the fantastic art genre, which can contain fantastical elements that are not always considered "fantasy" per se.


Fantasy Art and High Culture

Despite the technical skill of many of its practitioners, and despite (or arguably because of) its popularity, Fantasy art is not considered part of the 'canon', or 'fine art', in the sense that it is not hung in galleries, subsidised by governments, studied in art schools etc.

A few works which are 'canonical', particularly surrealist or pre-Raphaelite works, have many characteristics in common with fantasy art. For example The Castle in the Pyrenees by Rene Magritte, and The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, would almost certainly be accepted as fantasy art if they had been created recently by an artist who presented them as such. As with much fantasy art, the latter illustrates a scene from another work. Other modern fantasy artists use the Art Nouveau Movement and other high culture art movements with the contention that fantasy or faerie art should be critically evaluated and noticed by academic institutions. Finucane defines his art stylistics as "Neo-Medieval", rather than using the escapist terminology of "fantasy art" to define his work. Historical standards of what is high art or what is not high art was a common problem for now famous artists like the Glasgow School, who were also unfairly defined as inferior artists in their time.

Nonetheless these works are accorded the status of fine art, and not considered to be connected to fantasy art. The situation could arguably be compared to the way in which certain critically-esteemed works may be treated as if they had no connection to non-'literary' genres, for example Nineteen Eighty-Four and science fiction.

Carrie Ann Baade

Julie Bell

Gerald Brom

Boris Vallego

Ciruelo Cabral

Clayde Caldwell

James C. Christensen

Timothy Cummings

Jean David

Gerard Di-Maccio

Luis Royo

Dorian Cleavenger

Terrance Lindall

Christophe Vacher

Wojtek Siudmak

Roney Matthews

Herman Smorenburg

K.D. Matheson



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Thomas Kinkade

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Amano Yashitaka


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Howard David Johnson "Good faeries"


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Brian Froud "Good faeries & bad faeries"


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From Surrealism to Fantastic Art 


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Fantastic realism

The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism is a group of artists founded in Vienna in 1946. It includes Ernst Fuchs, Arik Brauer, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter, Anton Lehmden and Fritz Janschka, all students of Professor Albert Paris Gutersloh at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. It was Gutersloh's emphasis on the techniques of the Old Masters that gave the Fantastic Realist painters a grounding in realism (expressed with a clarity and detail some have compared to early Flemish painting) combined with religious and esoteric symbolism.

Rudolf Hausner

Ernst Fuchs

Brigid Marlin

Hugues Gillet

Aric Brauer

Victor Safonkin

Wolfgang Hutter

Bruno di Majo

Jacek Yerka

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Fantastic art

Fantastic art is a loosely defined art genre. The first "fantastic" artist is generally believed to be Hieronymus Bosch.

Other artists who have been labeled fantastic include Brueghel, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Matthias Grünewald, Hans Baldung Grien, Francisco de Goya, Gustave Moreau, Max Magnus Norman, Henry Fuseli, Odilon Redon, Max Klinger, Arnold Bocklin, William Blake, Gustave Doré, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Salvador Dalí, Arik Brauer, Johfra, Odd Nerdrum, and Mati Klarwein.

Fantasy has been an integral part of art since its beginnings, but has been particularly important in mannerism, romantic art, symbolism and surrealism. fantastic art celebrates fantasy, imagination, dreamworlds, the grotesque, visions and other-worldliness. With symbolism, it shares its choice of themes such as mythology, occultism and mysticism.

In French, the genre is called le fantastique, in English it is sometimes referred to as visionary art, grotesque art or mannerist art.

Fantastic art should not be confused with fantasy art, which is the domain of science-fiction and fantasy illustrators such as Boris Vallejo and others:
Ernst Fuchs ,De Es Schwertberger ,H.R. Giger ,Peter Gric ,Robert Venosa ,Gio' Myart ,Judson Huss ,Jacek Yerka ,Von Stropp ,Damian Michaels ,Zdzislaw Beksinski ,Antonio Roybal ,Lukasz Banach ,Sean Hopp ,Peter Proksch ,Jorgen Mahler Elbang Michèle Vincent ,Anne Sudworth


Zdzislaw Beksinski

David Bowers

Frank Kortan

Siegfried Zademack

Michael Fuchs

Jaroslaw Kukowski

Chris Mars

David Ho

Eli Tiunine

Michael Bergt

Edward Black Kim

Istvan Sandorfi

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