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Paintings by subject

Carré d'artistes presents a large selection of paintings of various themes. Painting themes classify the subjects that are represented in a painting. At Carré d'artistes we have selected the themes currently most representative in contemporary painting. Although it is difficult to classify painting themes, we can try and divide them into two categories: representations which essentially revolve around humans and those which more specifically concentrate on nature and landscape.

Representations of humans

Paintings that feature humans

To better understand the importance of painting themes, it is necessary to grasp the primary distinction that exists between paintings which depict the human and his immediate environment, and those which represent a landscape. It is not at all the same thing to paint a person's personality and to paint the beauty of a mountain, for example. Among the themes which depict humans specifically, we have portraits. The purpose of a portrait is to represent (faithfully or in caricature) a person, famous or unknown. More particularly, the representation of well-known people, our contemporary celebrities, is more akin to pop icon painting. The representation of a naked body is very common in painting. Nude painting is a genre in its own right which remains a very important stage in contemporary artistic training.

Paintings that represent the human environment

Some paintings feature the human and his environment – that is to say, the elements, living or not, which are close to him. For example, animal painting is a frequent theme in contemporary art. Sculptures – as well as paintings – often represent domestic or wild animals, with the aim of learning the anatomy or exhibiting their unique beauty. Painting scenes from everyday life (called "genre art" in art history) also highlights the relationship between the human and his environment. For example, a scene from everyday life can represent a person at work, moments of entertainment or family reunions.

Representations of nature


The second major category of the different painting themes is landscapes. Landscape painting is a recurring theme in art history. Painting a landscape involves selecting a particular point of view: that of the artist, of what he sees and what he wishes to show. It has been one of the most represented themes in painting since the Renaissance. But among the different landscapes, we differentiate between seascapes and cityscapes. Maritime art reproduces maritime elements (sea, boats, ports, beaches, etc.) on the canvas. By contrast, cityscapes showcase urban landscapes. In this way, each era describes the mood of its century through its paintings – from country landscapes to maritime or urban landscapes, these paintings are invaluable witnesses of not only centuries past, but also our own time.

Still lifes

Finally, another of the major painting themes are still lifes. This genre depicts inanimate elements – such as flowers, food or crockery – in a painting. It is one of the most represented painting themes in history. These days, this theme is less important than before but it does continue to exist and offers very beautiful compositions.

Come and explore the various themes of paintings by contemporary artists such as Daniel Castan, Agusil, Patrick Rousseau, Lovisa and many others at Carré d'artistes!


(13924 Artworks)

13924 Artworks



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