4 Male Artists That Inspire Masculine Virtues

There is a philosophical question that I’ve argued with others in my personal life on more than one occasion. Can art be masculine? I say it can, others say art is neither masculine nor feminine, it just is.

My argument is simple. Many of the same words that we use to describe alpha males or the most masculine men can also be said about many pieces of art. Art, like men, can be powerful, insightful, supremely skillful, and inspirational. I would add that masculine art depicts a subject matter men find especially appealing: war, adventure, sexy women, heroism, etc.

Art in the 20th and 21st centuries has gotten a bad rap. Thanks to modern art, which most people agree isn’t powerful, isn’t inspirational and does not take much skill to execute men have largely been turned off of art. Modern art is meant to be provocative, not artistic. That’s why the best example of modern art is that “Piss Christ.” It’s a Catholic crucifix in a clear vat of pee, not worth showing.

Great, masculine art is still out there and better than ever in the last 50 years. When you see these artist’s paintings you get inspired to bravery, or to be strong, or to bang hot women. Masculine art is inspiration worth having in your home in a place of prominence. Here are four artists who demonstrate that masculine art is worth owning.

Frank Frazetta

The best-known artist among men is Frank Frazetta and for good reason. His art is everything we think masculine art should be. The men are strong. The women are sexy damsels in distress. The villains are superhuman. Much of his art represents a scene of action. When he paints a battle you can feel the fury of that battle play out in your mind.

Moon Rider by Frank Frazetta

Death Dealer II (Prisoner of the Horned Helmet) by Frazetta

Conan The Barbarian by Frazetta

Boris Vallejo

Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo are often compared to each other for several reasons. Their styles are similar as is their subject matter. When they paint women they paint them naked, with big luscious breasts and firm, round butts. When they paint men the men are ripped and usually in battle.

The two are also comparable because they were commisioned to paint book covers. Many of both artists most famous pieces come from book covers, either for a Conan book or one of the many Edgar Rice Burroughs books. A Frazetta book cover for a Burroughs book recently sold at auction for nearly $2 million.

Boris Vallejo paints much more women than Frazetta did. His style is also a little sharper and more vibrant.

People of the Black Circle (a Conan story) art by Boris Vallejo

Vampire’s Kiss by Vallejo

At Dawn They Came by Vallejo

Ivan Aivazovsky

Ivan is considered one of the best artists to paint seascapes and especially one of the best to paint naval battles. He comes from the Russian Romantic period and died in the year 1900 at 82 years old. Most artists before the 20th century who painted war well painted much more feminine pieces as well; portraits of women and scenes from dull, daily life for example. Ivan was one of the few who painted war more consistently. When he didn’t paint naval battles he usually painted seascapes.

Battle of Cesme at Night

Sea Battle at Navarino

Storm Over The Black Sea

Joe Jusko

I met Joe once. He was a very cool guy. He’s a modern artist who paints very much in the Frazetta style. Jusko represents a sad fact about men and art—there is very little demand for masculine art outside of comic book covers and adventure book covers. Jusko is best known for his Conan paintings as well, indicating that masculine art requires masculine characters for inspiration. Perhaps the reason there is so little masculine art today is that there are so few masculine characters worth painting.

It’s also a reminder of the lack of men’s fiction being produced today. Young men, boys really, would rather play video games and have Marvel movie marathons than read a good book. Jusko has gotten most of his commissions from Marvel Comics, but a glance at his other art shows the deep masculine nature of his style.

Hellriders by Jusko

Berserker by Joe Jusko

Conan’s Throne Room by Jusko

These paintings took extreme skill and care and vision to create. They inspire the men who view them. Personally, I have ten Frazetta prints framed and hung on the wall over my desk. When I write or study and need that boost of motivation I look up and see Death Dealer raining fury on his enemies. It’s hard not to work at that point.

The great tragedy is that today, masculine art is mostly commisioned for the least masculine products like comic books and video games. If the masculine revolution ever comes, perhaps that will change.

For more from Jared Trueheart on the roles of men and women in literature and film check out his writing at Legends of Men.

Read More:13 Martial Artists You Can Draw Inspiration From

40 thoughts on “4 Male Artists That Inspire Masculine Virtues”

  1. Molly Hatchet used these on some of their kick ass 80s albums.
    Gator Country, Dreams & Bounty Hunter are great jam tunes.

  2. Great article, I admire Frazetta style greatly.
    Ilya Repin should also have had been included in this list. With his greatest painting probably being the Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV.

    1. And here’s his website:
      His Cossacks is excellent, but my favourite is his A Religious Procession in the Province of Kursk, 1880-83. So much storytelling detail, starting with the crippled blond kid in the foreground.
      Also, let’s not forget Viktor Vasmetov
      (I love his Frog Princess. Again the whole details thing, plus the maniac look on some of the musicians’ faces. )
      It could be fairly argued that both the above artists served *partially* as influences in Frazetta’s works, esp. in the way of swirling color, shadow and massing of figures.
      Might as well add Fredrick Remington to the list:
      Hope this helps.
      Just a thought.
      P.S. What the hell. Here’s Vasily Maksimov (1844-1911) and his Mongols at the Walls of Vladimir:
      You can almost imagine the guard over the gate shouting “Hey, all you guys on the horses…what do you want already?!”

  3. Kind of unrelated, but as far as sci-fiction/fantasy novels though, The Horus Heresy series by Black Library is undoubtedly epic and masculine. Basically Paradise Lost in space. there’s like 50 novels.

  4. ohh the 80s macho men style the Japanese counterpart was Buronson manga style, we went from Conan the barbarian comics to Steven universe comics. We went from manly thundercats to soyboy “thundercats roar”

    1. Funny thing is, even sissy-looking characters from decades ago were pretty macho when it came down to it. One animated special about two robots, the male robot looking like a wimp, had him standing up to- and very effectively- a robot at least ten times his size.
      That old animated “Gulliver’s Travels” movie had a prince who wasn’t exactly Conan in appearance- but even Conan could not have been more heroic, especially with the gun scene.
      “Rock and Rule” had the “sexist” boyfriend of a female singer who was to be sacrificed to some extra-dimensional demon ready to fight it armed only with a guitar as a club.
      There are numerous other examples, so perhaps the message was that even if you weren’t as powerful as Conan or Lion-O you could still be manly in behavior. Then again, the female characters were usually actually worth fighting for, so maybe there was a message there too: if you want a hero you gals must be ladies worth the effort.

    1. I like the pics too! Like *you*, I’m a pinko (nonleft) faggot who loves those hard, ripped, masculine bodies. 😉

  5. Boris Vallejo painted more women because Julie Bell, his wife and former body builder, was his model. Liam Sharp is worth checking out too.

    1. If his wife looked like his artwork, I’m surprised he ever found time to illustrate.

  6. The fact that you call comics unmasculine, shows your obvious lack of knowledge about the medium. Comics isn’t just the superhero stuff.

    1. *Exactly*
      Jared Trueheart, like most normies, confuses a medium with a genre (comics aren’t just all superheroes and animation isn’t all kid stuff). Jared should read Heavy Metal (or the long defunct Epic magazine) or watch the movies Heavy Metal, Watership Down, Fritz the Cat, etc.

      1. Manly Man
        “Jared should read Heavy Metal (or the long defunct Epic magazine) or watch the movies Heavy Metal, ”
        I enjoy the movie Heavy Metal (I have yet to see the second one). Yes it is masculine. And I always enjoyed reading that magazine.

    2. Most of it really is not masculine nowadays and it isn’t even just superheroes. The entire industry is infested with liberal faggotry. It’s so bad that romance comics from 30+ years ago look more masculine in comparison.

  7. Julie Bell (Boris’s woman and not a male of course) is also a great artist who is no doubt inspired by her husband.
    I like the famtastical marine art of Christian Riese Lassen. Powerful, vibrant and masculine.
    Lastly, another name worth looking into and work to appreciate is that of J.C.Leyendecker. Great if you’re into art that depicts masculine and western elegance of the early 1900s as well as images of strength, courage and others during war.

    1. Here:
      His Arrow Collar Man and other works defined the ideal American Male in the same fashion that Charles Dana Gibson defined the ideal American Female, i.e. upper class, statuesque, impossibly perfect and handsome/beautiful.
      Compare and contrast time:
      The works of both artists evoke in our minds a more elegant and genteel era, yet nonetheless a vigorous and confident one as well. In fact, historians of American History refer to it – the 1890s – as The Confident Years.
      Hope this helps.
      Just a thought.

  8. Wow. Great article. Franzetta, Jusko, and Boris. Brings back childhood memories.
    Modern art can’t compete.

  9. I hardly remember the name of artists. But the covers of the Tarzan books, the artwork in the magazine Heavy Metal, and Conan pictures I see online, really kick a lot of ass.
    I am glad you wrote this article. I shall bookmark it. Will return often to read it. I think masculine art reminds us we are men. We conquer. We bow to no one. The ladies are ours. Terrific article Jared.
    Does Joe Jusko still create book covers?

  10. Maybe you gents can help me out. For a long time, I’ve been looking for a reproduction of a painting that depicts Jim Bowie on his deathbed at the Alamo, sitting up with his big knife in hand to confront a couple of Mexican troopers.
    Does anyone know the title or the artist? I thought it was a Remington, but I’ve never sen it listed.

    1. SteveRogers42
      I have seen that painting too. It is excellent. I don’t recall the artist. Search images at Google or Bing. When you find it the artist’s name may be listed with it or visible on it.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks to both of you — I appreciate it! I had never seen either of these versions before.
        The odd thing is that I remember the painting as being from the POV of the Mexicans entering the room. Bowie is in the background, and the viewer is looking toward him.
        Hope I’m not entering some kind of alternate universe/Mandela Effect situation!

  11. If you want “masculine” art visit Italy. Galleries such as the Uffizi in Florence. The amount of skill and talent needed to create those Renascence paintings was phenomenal. Next to that those heavy metal album covers look childish. Can see the talent just the subject matter is, well..

  12. Vallejo and Jusko produce the kind of work that hangs in biker bars in day glo posters from the swap meet. Seriously, take an art class and understand the mechanics before buying into this middle school crap. Remington, yes. Conan revisited, no

    1. I was thinking something more along the line of paintings on black velvet….
      Agree that they’re both derivative, i.e. they’re trying to look like Frank Frazetta, but without the sense of shadow, movement and swirling color. (His Conan book covers pretty much are responsible for rediscovery of a forgotten author’s works and created the Conan franchise we see today:
      By comparison, both Vallejo and Jusko are on the wooden and crude side of things, closer to girlie mag pin-ups.
      Compare their work further with another artist/illustrator who’s talents managed to look Conan look positively elegant. I speak of course of Barry Windsor Smith and the work he did for the Conan Marvel Comics series in the 70s:
      He lends Conan a physique that leans more towards lean instead of bulk whilst still conveying sheer power. His Conan is fluid and graceful, as are his painstaking and detailed layouts – elegant, there’s that word again – which in turn caused him to have a hard time meeting deadlines. Using two dozen *different* faces in a fight scene – let alone in the backgrounds – instead of pretty much drawing the same face over and over again takes time, but he refused to do it any other way.
      (He was also one of the first artists to give the characters nipples, individual teeth rather than a straight line, and show a profuse amount of blood and bloody wounds.)
      And for the downvoters, an art class is well and good, but really it’s all about roaming galleries and museums if you’re able – not all of us live in big cities – and discovering what you like. (If it provokes some sort of strong emotional response, then it has you.) Ditto large format art books from a good library. And like any education, it has o continue, and you have to allow your tastes to mature as well. Just because you liked, say, Velveeta, as a child doesn’t necessarily mean that you think it’s wonderful now.
      Finally, realize that 95% of anything is crap – a subjective term that changes with the centuries and tastes – and that includes art. It’s the remaining 5% that makes the grade.
      Hope this helps.

      1. I agree. Frazetta stands above the others for the reasons you describe. There’s “something” that sets them apart and turns the scenes into heroic visions rather than just mere pictures.
        I also remember Barry Windsor-Smith’s illustrations in the early-70’s Conan comics. His artwork looked like poetry, if that makes any sense.

  13. Aivazovsky is one of my favourite. Check out his other works like Battle of Sinope, A Moonlit Sea or The Ninth Wave.

  14. Charles Schulz. His portrayal of a forlorn allied aviator locked in perpetual combat against a German ace just oozed masculine virtue and determination.

    1. Seriously, “Peanuts,” especially the earlier ones, was actually a pretty grim and almost cold comic. The style was stark and usually lacked the cutesy-soft portrayal of childhood. Bill Watterson noticed this too.
      For example, one strip, with Charlie Brown trying to fly that kite, had as the first panel him surrounded on a featureless plain by gigantic evil-looking kites, all glaring at him, almost as if a nightmare a kid might have.

      1. Mr. Schulz was a Sgt. in a machine-gun squad in WW2. Every June 6, he would reprint a single panel of Snoopy crawling ashore on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

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