Fantasy Artists

The silver warrior - Frank FrazettaJohn William Waterhouse used the classical style of painting, yet he used fantasy subject matter. His paintings were full of nymphs, mermaids, witches, gods and goddesses. Bosch still holds the informal title of Fantasy artist because of his fantastic landscapes. Waterhouse is thought of as a Fantasy artist even though his style is classical and represents the early 1900’s.

In the 50’s and 60’s when Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy novels were becoming popular. Publishers needed intriguing book covers to sell their novels. For this reason many budding Fantasy artists found work commercially. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote “The Hobbit” in the ‘30s and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy in the following years.

This series of books made a working living for various artists. For many years Tolkien’s books were illustrated exclusively by the Hildebrandt Brothers, and it was their art that graced the original covers of the Tolkien books. These brothers were twins and they painted more or less as a team until Tim passed away in 2006 leaving Greg to continue working alone.

Another artistic venture that they involved themselves in, which was commercially a huge success, was the card game “Magic, the Gathering”. This role playing game became popular and fueled the imagination of thousands of teen-agers. Although it was more of a Sci-Fi genre, the brothers also have the first Star Wars movie poster as a claim to fame.

Frank Frazetta is another artist in love with the fantastic. Born and raised in Brooklyn he was an up and coming artist that found work commercially with Ace, Lancer and Bantam Books where he painted book jackets. Frazetta painted for the Edgar Rice Burroughs “Tarzan” books and his fantastic “Conan the Barbarian” series. Frazetta was also a cartoonist and it is important to mention that many fantasy artists started out making a living drawing for comics.


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