The Fantastic Art Movement

Art movements are an interesting study on how society evolved. At any time period, there is always an influence represented by an art form. Art is reflective of a society’s sentiments at the time. When you study history, you have to look at the art movement, to get a richer understanding of what that society went through.


The fantastic art movement is a major genre in art that came in the early 20th century. As a reaction to the outbreak of World War I, technology moved at lightning pace. People reacted by embracing what was irrational and emotional. Imagination was pushed to the limits and bizarre ideas were entertained.

human hands and gears


The destruction of many societies brought about by the Great War, found people seeking solace in thoughts of other worlds, away from the destruction and the taking over of technology. Fantastic art represented that sentiment and fed the public with images of a fantasy world.

Artists used fantasy to convey their ideas and thoughts to the world, resulting in high energy and creativity. Fantastic artwork challenged the viewer to look beyond what was on the canvas and to get themselves involved with the artwork. The art invited the audience into a fantasy realm where the viewers’ ideas were integrated with their interpretation and the artwork.

Exploration into the depths of the imagination is fantastic art. Artists may paint the grotesque, the whimsical and the absurd, with absolutely no boundaries. Paintings depict scenes that are not of this world. It is fantasy. It is considered not normal. The creative imagery covers a wide range of forms, with roots usually around images of heaven and hell and what goes in between.


In contrast to another movement in Italy, Futurism is an art form where society embraced machines. It glorified their beauty, speed, and their potential violence.

During the war, futurists celebrated man’s power over nature. War was glorified and fascism was rising. Artists of the fantastic movement felt threatened because machines were taking away their individuality. So, they hung on to their imagination and emotions tighter.

Although the fantastic art movement ended more or less in the 1940s, numerous art and literature still reflect the influences of fantastic art.

One sees the popularity of this in fantasy literature. Fiction written about other worlds is still very popular today. Topics range from magic that glorified nature’s power, those that embraced the spirit, and mysticism of the supernatural.

Fantasy artwork can been seen on covers of books music albums and just about anything where the world of magic is sought. Space fantasy and science fiction is another genre that is greatly influenced by fantastic art.

This movement will endure because in society, there is always the desire to escape from reality, into another world where people do not need to deal with the realities of life.