Brief Introduction To Figurative Art

Figurative art is a type of art in which emphasis is given to the figure. It is not limited to just human figures but also animals or any object. Figurative art has a strong reference to the real world in its subject matter and the term can be used to distinguish representational art from abstract art. Figurative art is in fact a predecessor of abstract art. Abstract art, which appeared in the early 20th century, simplified, idealized or distorted the forms of realistic references.

Generally speaking any form of modern art which retains strong references to the real world can be defined as figurative. Since historical times all art was figurative in one way or another. One of the oldest known figurative art is a 35,400 year old cave painting from Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Prehistoric Indonesian cave paining of a  fruit-eating pig-deer called babirusas

Prehistoric Indonesian cave paining of a  fruit-eating pig-deer called babirusas

Figurative art not only portraits a real subject but can also reflect the cultural values of the time in which it was created. Artwork with religious or mythical themes can all be classified as figurative art. There are different types of art that fall under the term figurative art. Here are some examples:

Picasso, Girl with a Mandolin. A abstract figurative cubist painting by Pablo Picasso.

Picasso, Girl with a Mandolin. A abstract figurative cubist painting by Pablo Picasso.

The human form has been depicted in many ways throughout history and today is no different. Artists continue to communicate and manipulate the human image and inspire the creation of innovative, challenging work.