Fantastic art is an art genre. The parameters of fantastic art have been fairly rigorously defined in the scholarship on the subject ever since the 19th century. There was a movement of science fiction and fantasy artists prior to and during the Great Depression, which were mainly cover art and comic book illustrators. One anthology about them is Infinite Worlds: The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art by Vincent Di Fate (himself a prolific SF and space artist), with foreword by Ray Bradbury.
Fantastic art has traditionally been largely confined to painting and illustration, but since the 1970s has increasingly been found also in photography. Fantastic art explores fantasy, "space fantasy" (a sub-genre which incorporates subjects of alien mythology and/or alien religion), imagination, the dream state, the grotesque, visions and the uncanny, as well as so-called "Goth" art. Being an inherent genre of Victorian Symbolism, modern fantastic art often shares its choice of themes such as mythology, occultism and mysticism, or lore and folklore, and generally seeks to depict the inner life (nature of soul and spirit).
Fantasy has been an integral part of art since its beginnings, but has been particularly important in mannerism, magic realist painting, romantic art, symbolism, surrealism and lowbrow. In French, the genre is called le fantastique, in English it is sometimes referred to as visionary art, grotesque art or mannerist art. It has had a deep and circular interaction with fantasy literature.
Famous quotes containing the words art and/or fantastic:
“Blessed be the inventor of photography! I set him above even the inventor of chloroform! It has given more positive pleasure to poor suffering humanity than anything else that has cast up in my time or is like tothis art by which even the poor can possess themselves of tolerable likenesses of their absent dear ones. And mustnt it be acting favourably on the morality of the country?”
—Jane Welsh Carlyle (18011866)
“A poet is no rattlebrain, saying what comes uppermost, and, because he says every thing, saying, at last, something good; but a heart in unison with his time and country. There is nothing whimsical or fantastic in his production, but sweet and sad earnest, freighted with the weightiest convictions, and pointed with the most determined aim which any man or class knows of in his times.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)