People, Human, Figurative Paintings


    FAQs - Figurative Paintings

    1. What are figurative paintings?

    There is no such independent form of art referred to as 'figure painting'. However, a form of art that is a conjugation of several realistic elements and still drawings inspired by human figures can be categorised as figurative in nature.

    The term ‘figurative’ has found particular importance since the arrival of abstract art. This form of representational art takes inspiration from abstract creations, keeping in line with the rules set by realistic proportions, symmetry, shapes, patterns and lines. Read More

    Therefore, the form of art is an aesthetic blend of the two styles of painting.

    2. What does a figurative painting mean?

    Figurative paintings are a derivation of realistic objects, shapes and different forms of life into an artistic piece. By definition, figurative is purely a representational art form using figure drawings.

    Figurative paintings can have the following interpretations:

    1. Can represent human and animal figures or body lines. 
    2. Can showcase an artist’s take on a certain political or social subject through human caricatures and cartoons.
    3. The art form can shed light on the complexity of human life, struggles, beauty and symmetry as well as imperfections.
    4. Such paintings can sometimes go beyond the physical aspects of what is painted and show the artist’s personal representation of the entity, which is the subject matter.
    5. Images and figures of Gods can create an atmosphere of peace and serenity.

    3. What is the Western concept of figurative painting?

    Figurative paintings are a rather modern art form, that features a strong association to realism and the physical shape of the human and animal bodies.

    As per the interpretation of figurative paintings in the West, the art form is viewed as a representation of political, social and personal stances and experiences through realistic forms.

    While in India, the very first form of figurative art can be seen at the Ajanta and Ellora Temple, the West showcases several modern life interpretations through works such as The Last Supper and The Starry Night.

    4. What do figurative paintings symbolise?

    While the form of art originally showcased human and animal figures, the reincarnated art form began to represent political and social stances. 

    The art form began to showcase caricatures, cartoons and other digital forms post the 1970s. Hence, it can be said that figurative paintings have gone beyond the physicalities of realism and the creativity of abstract art and are an aesthetic blend of the two styles.

    Furthermore, figurative art forms indicated the artist’s interpretation of certain human experiences, communicating the challenges of life. 

    5. Who are some of the most famous artists of figurative paintings?

    Here are some of the world’s most renowned artists that have painted some of the most famous figurative paintings:

    1. Pablo Picasso with his several figurative paintings such as Garcon a la Pipe, Girl In a Chemise and Portrait of Gertrude Stein
    2. Leonardo da Vinci with The Last Supper
    3. Vincent Van Gogh with the Starry Night 
    4. Gustav Klimt with the painting Tree of Life
    5. August Macke showcased his skills with Woman in a Green Jacket, 1913
    6. Umberto Boccioni with the likes of Elasticity and Dynamism of a Man’s Head
    7. Giuseppe Arcimboldo with The Autumn and The Spring
    8. Wassily Kandinsky’s Around the Circle
    9. Olympia by Edouard Manet
    10. Willem de Kooning with his Woman series


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