A word with two meanings, one having to do with drawing and painting the human figure and the other as an all-encompassing term for describing that which is representational---making the distinction between Abstraction and Realism. Paul Feltus, figurative painter, defines the first meaning as a painting whose subject is the human figure and which works "in formal terms, quite apart from their image and their associations, suggested meanings, narrative content, and so on." In addition to being about the figure itself, Feltus says that "it is also a complex fitting together of shapes that can be appreciated as such." The latter definition is much broader in that it pertains to recognizable subjects such as landscape, still life, portraits, figures, etc. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Paul Feltus, &#39;The Composition of Paintings: An Artist&#39;s Perspective&#39;, "American Arts Quarterly", Fall 2005, p. 56. <br><br>Of or portraying the (human or animal) figure. Figurative sculpture can be either realistic (in varying degrees...) or stylized.<br><br> A term used to describe art which is based on the figure, usually in realistic or semi-realistic terms; also loosely used to describe an artist who paints or sculpts representationally, as opposed to painting or sculpting in an abstract or non-objective manner.<br><br>Describes artwork representing the form of a human, an animal or a thing; any expression of one thing in terms of another thing. Abstract artwork is the opposite of figurative art in certain ways. Roy Lichtenstein made a series of images of a bull, demonstrating this kind of range in ways to approach figuration and abstraction &#8213; beginning with the most highly figurative version, and proceeding through stages to the most abstract version:Quote: "It&#39;s really absurd to make an image, like a human image, with paint, today, when you think about it . . . But then all of a sudden, it was even more absurd not to do it." Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), Dutch-American painter. Quoted by David Sylvester. See Abstract Expressionism. Also see emblem, figure, metamorphosis, symbol, and trope.