Figurative Art

This will show all figurative art pieces

Figurative Art describes modern artworks that primarily focuses on the human figure.

Figurative art is often regarded as the oldest style of art, as cave paintings often depicted hunters and animals. The discovery of a cave painting in Borneo, estimated as at least 40,000 years old, fortified that theory.

Paintings and sculptures (the two most common media for figurative art) and tend to fall into three categories: figurative, representational, and abstract.

Perhaps the landmark piece, however, was Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus in 1510, which is the first known reclining nude portrait in Western Art.

Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus – 1510

Giorgione’s work was the beginning of a series of famous nude portraits that would be created by artists henceforth.

Photography has taken up some of the share of figurative art works, as portraits are very common in figurative art.

This led to an injection of surreal or sublime portrayals of the human form in more traditional mediums like painting.

The most prized works of figurative art accurately capture the real-world subject and cultural values of a given period.

Arguably the most famous examples are Greek statues, what with their unparalleled physiological precision.

Objectively impressive, many of these statues also projected concepts, stories, or ideas, such as David by Michelangelo.

Additionally, Greek sculptures introduced the concept of contrapposto, or ‘counterpose’.

Example of contrapposto

This style aimed to represent people in a more natural state – appearing to be putting more weight on one foot as humans tend to do. The result was more life-like statues.

Whether painting or sculpture, figurative art is known as the most long-standing form of art – a testament to the human need for self-expression.