The much-maligned Norman Rockwell was probably the last of the great narrative painters. It's no accident that the end of his career coincided quite closely with the advent of story-telling in the electronic mode. A long artistic tradition dating as far back as cave painting with its wild animal hunts, through Egyptian and Medieval wall painting, to Jan Van Eyck's Marriage of Giovanni Arnofino, Michelangelo's Genesis on the Sistine ceiling, and European/American Genre painting, has come to an end in our lifetime. Worse than that, this type of painting has fallen into such disrepute amongst artists and critics that no one seems to feel the least bit sorry to see it go.
|Super Hero Narrative Art|
|Manga narrative art|
There is left remaining only two last vestiges of this art in the world today in two widely divergent and relatively minor areas. One is the highly refined and dynamically imaginative art of the classic comic book, and today's Japanese manga, usually of the super-hero/science fiction variety. The other is a relic of the fine art of history painting in the form of works depicting exploits of military combat.
|Narrative combat art today (note the central passenger)|