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Fantasy Art – Popular Or Academic?

Fantasy Art – Popular Or Academic?
Fantasy art pieces have always been interesting. They carry with them an air of mystery or amusement and are always conversation material among those who patronise the craft. While this art form may have some religious undertones, most of it is rather heavily influenced by folklore and mythology. Evolving from different corners of the world, fantasy art carry widely prevalent themes based on Greek mythology, African magical traditions or Chinese folklore.
Ancient fantasy artworks hanging in galleries depict images of angels and demon, gods, dragons and spirits. They are still quite popular today, although later renditions find some difficulty qualifying themselves as fine art.
The popularity of fantasy art probably started with a 16th century famous Dutch painter named Heironymus Bosch. His interpretation of the famous triptych entitled The Garden of Earthly Delight showed an initial panel on the Garden of Eden, a second one featuring a world of earthly pleasures, and finally a third hell depicting different types of sinners. There is still continuing debate whether this masterpiece intended to portray religious views or was merely an amusing art piece.
Fantasy art popularity surged in the twentieth century with the discovery of photography and the versatile art forms it would create. This sort of made traditional genre forms obsolete as abstract art, cubism and expressionism gained more popularity in the 60s and 70s. Fantasy artists still worked with mystic subjects retaining aesthetic tradition, but incorporated newer art forms into their pieces. The results gave rise to surrealism as an accepted form of artistic expression.
Although traditional fantasy art involved a great deal of skill, it wasn’t general accepted to be part of the western canon. It appealed rather more to the subcultures than the art house crowds. Nowadays it has found its way into the hearts of fantasy fiction fans and gothic work followers. Commercialism also has a spot for fantasy art and it is often the subject of fashion trends and themes. It must be due to deep and confusing undertones that this particular art form has been consistently ignored by the academic crowd.