Accepted 20 November, 2015
This study explored the robust interface between painting as an art form and society, with a focus on the Nigerian society from the pre-colonial to the post-colonial eras. The study established that painting in Nigeria has always been the product of the socio-cultural and environmental realities of the Nigerian society, right from the body paintings that characterized the pre-colonial era to the multiple styles of the post-colonial era painting. It was observed that whereas the early paintings of the Nigerian society derived exclusively from indigenous influences, the colonial and post-colonial eras paintings were heavily influenced by European cultures and philosophies. The study concluded that painting in modern Nigerian society is still largely utilitarian and that it reflects the dual influences of the traditional culture on the one hand, and Western culture characterized by the customization of the art by the individual on the other hand.
Keywords: painting, society, modern Nigeria.