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Figurative paintings

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Buy a figurative painting at Carré d'artistes

Figurative painting for sale:

Why buy a figurative painting? Carré d'artistes presents a large selection of figurative paintings. 
Figurative painting is an artistic style that consists in representing reality. It can be portraits, landscapes or still life.

Buying figurative paintings - what's the point? 

Contemporary art seems to be experiencing a craze for figurative paintings and hyperrealism. 
Several factors can explain this resurgence, the saturation of contemporary art by abstract painting, neo pop and conceptual art... 
From now on, art lovers are once again interested in the figurative, art is cyclical.

Figurative painting

In the West, the figurative style was expressed in all the arts of the Renaissance, the Baroque, the realism of the 19th century, the hyperrealism of the 20th century. The figurative artistic styles are all more or less idealist, naturalistic, realistic, hyper-realistic. The artist tries to imitate nature or what he sees as faithfully as possible. But figurative painting is not limited to this. It can also be an expression of how the artist feels about nature. The Romantic movement is a perfect example of this with painters like Turner for example. 

The figurative style can also emphasise an effect of strangeness, as in the symbolism movement. 

With the creation of tube painting, Impressionism accentuated this research on perception with a deepened play on light and colours. Many painters worked to surpass the figurative by exploring the chromatic palette, such as Sisley, Monet, Pissaro... In the 20th century, expressionism took a strong artistic approach with violent tones, distortions of the visible world, and a powerful style. The figurative style is multiple. It developed all the more as the discoveries of the microscope, cinema, photography and psychoanalysis upset the question of reality and representation. There is an immense field of possibilities in terms of figurative painting, bordering on abstraction. 

Figurative painting can also be an artist's interpreted representation of the real world in the manner of cubists such as Picasso, Braque, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and Raymond Duchamp-Villon. Figurative artists want to represent what they see with their own graphic solutions, their refusal or not of traditional creative processes, their way of analysing the problems linked to figuration, their artistic quest in general and their own style.


These paintings sometimes represent models as they are in reality. The artist tries to render all the details. This is naturalism. The painter wishes to give amplitude to what he sees by simplifying reality to the essential, by purifying signs to the point of making them geometric, by playing with shapes... He creates new forms or distorts the visible, stylises the object represented to show it as it is. Naturalism plays with the coherence of deformations and the harmony of compositions of reorganised forms.

Figurative painting is opposed to abstract art

Figurative painting is often opposed to abstract art. From 1910 onwards, with the painter Vasily Kandinsky, the simple fact of seeking to represent nature was no longer necessarily of primary importance. Abstract art is defined by not representing real objects. Art is then defined as non-objective or non-figurative. However, abstract art is nourished by a fine and precise observation of the visible in order to deconstruct it. This is the case of many artists such as Paul Cézanne, Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso.

Francis Bacon the last of the figurative artists?

The work of the painter Francis Bacon is told in large triptychs depicting his own life, his loved ones, and his inspiration for figurative painters such as Diego Velázquez, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. The artist was able to renew the figurative painting by questioning his tortured portraits. His paintings represent nudes or faces as if they were folded into the very texture of the canvas. Francis Bacon's painting, inspired by the great artists of the past, renewed the art of portraiture in the 20th century.

Chromo and figurative painting

If Pablo Picasso is the artist who is internationally known for having brought historical figurative art to the fore, Francis Bacon is the most famous artist of the 20th century in terms of the continuity of this movement. Picasso and Warhol were able to widen the doors of figurative art. Figuration is often decried and neglected by art critics. If the transavantgarde of the 1980s led art lovers to believe that figurative art had disappeared, the contemporary figurative style has risen again from its ashes thanks to chromo painting.

Contemporary and figurative artists

Today, contemporary artists are increasingly interested in figurative art and hyperrealism. The division between abstraction and figuration no longer exists. Philippe Bluzot, for example, has produced many striking figurative paintings... Some of Eric Zener's works are oil paintings of a woman diving into water. Marek Okrassa, Jeffrey Palladini, Arnaud Liard, Francine Van Hove, Andrzej Borowski are other contemporary figurative artists who keep exploring the limits between abstract and real, figurative and visible. At Carré d'artistes, discover figura
(23 Artworks)
23 Artworks
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