(Art) The Deeply Human Fantasy of Ausonia

Blending the classical Italian style (including quite a bit of portraiture) with modern and fantasy themes, Florentine artist Ausonia — the ancient Greek name for lower Italy — imbues his creations with stunning depth and life. His portrait of three drunk Gnolls in a tavern, for example, adds mirth and humanity to characters that are typically only antagonists. We see ourselves in their bestial faces. Similarly, his eerie, black-eyed midwife is at once unnerving and wise, tired and unceasing. His stiff teacup knight is pressured and proud. But my favorite is undoubtedly his pregnant warrior, half out of armor that depicts her child in the womb.

Most of his monsters are part of a numbered bestiary. You can find more by the artist here.