Discover contemporary oil paintings for sale today. We sell hundreds of exclusive artworks to purchase from our online gallery, whether you are interested in buying an oil painting inspired by the old Renaissance masters or a contemporary abstract piece.
Showcasing oil paintings from some of the most exciting artists active today, we have an array of artworks spanning from abstract to art deco](/art/paintings/oil/art-deco), and from figurative to surreal. Explore today and find the perfect new painting for your home.
Paul Bennett's oil paintings portray abstract landscapes and seascapes. Influenced by the Impressionists’ artistic style and use of colour to capture light and space in nature, Bennett’s method of painting by memory transforms natural landscapes as seen in Setting Sun 1 (2018) to beautifully sensual and expressive pieces.
The colour fluidity of Fintan Whelan's Redemption (2019) is an excellent choice for those who are looking to own a contemporary oil painting. Whelan’s ability to combine colour pigment with oils and varnishes enables him to paint with sleek brushstrokes creating a harmonious expression on the canvas.
Lee Ellis’s figures are contorted, often completely faceless. They strike the viewer with a deep light/shadow contrast, bursts of pure colour, and a real emotional intensity that is sometimes troubling. The artist works across various media (paint, charcoal, block print) but the ghostly confrontation of his portraits pervades each material. Take a look at Lee’s work Surprise Party For 1 and Counterfeit Ice Cream Vendor.
Oil paintings are created with paints that consist of colour pigment bound by oil (traditionally linseed oil), to create a mixture that can cover a variety of surfaces, such as wood, paper and canvas.
As oil paint requires exposure to oxygen to dry, the process of drying is slow, which allows artists to work with the paint for a longer period of time, blending and layering colour. These effects can create richness of colours, shades and textures, creating greater artistic freedom for artists to experiment with different subject matter and styles.
Oil painting is considered the most widely used medium in the western world’s art history. For over five hundred years, the masters of European art have used oil paint to produce some of the most prolific pieces of art in the world. Evidence has shown that oil painting originated in Northern Europe during the early 15th century. Flemish artist Jan van Eyck discovered the effects of painting with oil mixtures on wooden panels to create ground-breaking illusionist techniques in his artwork. Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434) illustrates an Italian merchant and his wife, believed to be situated in their home in Bruges. This domestic double portrait began with underlying drawings followed by layers of oil paint, with van Eyck reworking his sitters, the room and objects until satisfied.
The development of the canvas enabled Italian Renaissance artists to develop their oil-based artwork on a larger scale. Traditional oil painting never went out of fashion, even though artistic styles and subjects changed drastically since the Renaissance. The 19th century saw the emergence of artistic movements such as Impressionism, which radically broke from classical art conventions. The Impressionists heavily influenced numerous Avant Garde movements at the beginning of the 20th century. Art movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, and Expressionism were pioneered by modern masters like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, who continued to push artistic boundaries.