The Rise of Fantastic Realism in Visual arts

The Rise of Fantastic Realism in Painting and Other Artistic Manifestations

The term “Fantastic Realism” or “Magic Realism” came up in 1925, when art critic Franz Roh used it to speak of a trend or trend in German painting and Cultural scene.

Even before Hitler’s fascist rule, some artists were painting canvases that mixed fantastic and realistic elements. Usually, they represented common scenarios that were crossed by, at least, an unusual or fantastic image.

The art of Caspar Walter Rauh
The Art of Caspar Walter Rauh

This style’s influence spread to the rest of Europe and the Americas, inspiring several contemporary artists.

Painting by Caspar Walter Rauh.

The paintings demarcated themselves by incorporating the fantastic without any explanation as if it were really part of the real. The effects of surprise and strangeness captured the audience’s attention as if they enchanted or intrigued him.

Eventually, the term ended up being passed over concerning other labels such as New Objectivity, making it challenging to identify the artists who belonged to the movement.

The Beggar of Prachatice (1924), de Conrad Felixmüller.
The Picture the Beggar of Prachatice (1924), by Conrad Felixmüller.


Even so, we can point out some painters such as Caspar Walter Rauh, Wojtek Siudmak, and Conrad Felixmüller as representatives of Fantastic Realism in the visual arts.

Other Artists and Painters of Fantastic Realism

Alexander Kanoldt (Germany, 1881 – 1939)
Carl Grossberg (Germany, 1894 – 1940)
Christian Schad (Germany, 1894 – 1982)
Franz Radziwill (Germany, 1895 – 1983) Georg Schiriptf (Germany, 1889 – 1938)
Conrad Felixmüller (Germany, 1897 – 1977)
Caspar Walter Rauh (Germany, 1912 – 1983)
Pyke Koch (The Netherlands, 1901 – 1991)
Dick Ket (The Netherlands, 1902 – 1940)
Carel Willink (The Netherlands, 1900 – 1983)
Wojtek Siudmak (Poland, 1942)

Magic Realism in Cinema

Cinema has been one of the artistic fields in which Fantastic Realism continues to be represented.

The genre still wins the hearts of the public, with films capable of bringing magic to the gray and sometimes sad world in which we live.

A scene from the movie Big Fish and its Wonderful Stories (2003).

An example is the film “Big Fish” and its Wonderful Stories (2003), directed by Tim Burton.

In the feature film, the protagonist has an enchanted perspective on ordinary life, with a lot of fantasy and imagination.

A scene from the movie The Shape of Water (2017).

Mexican director, Guillermo del Toro’s work, has also mainly contributed to disseminating this type of cinema, with international successes such as Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).

One of her most recent films, The Shape of Water ( (2017), tells the story of a woman who meets and falls in love with an aquatic being. Check out the movie trailer below:

Read More about Fantastic Realism in Literature here

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *