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Best Free WordPress Themes For Artist Portfolios

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So you’ve decided on WordPress for your art website. Congrats!

The setup process can be tough but with our guide it’s a lot easier. Only trouble is finding the right theme to match your personality & your work.

Thankfully the WordPress community is super friendly with thousands of free themes to pick from. That’s a lot to dig through so I’ve listed my absolute favorite art portfolio themes below.

Each one has its own unique style so there’s bound to be something here that you’ll love.


Thumbs WP

I haven’t seen anything quite like Thumbs but it feels like a real portfolio. I think this would be one of the best themes for a working artist to draw attention to their work.

It’s super clean and uses standard thumbnail sizes for all images. The main page fits a tight grid of work that all link to more detailed pages.

Plus the entire layout is responsive so it works well on mobile devices too. This is crucial in the modern world because so many people are using mobile devices to get online.

Thumbs may feel a little tight for some people but it’s a valid WP theme to get your artwork on full display.

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Clean Portfolio

Clean Portfolio WP

If you’d like something with a bit more space have a look at CleanPortfolio.

This is a freemium theme by the folks at Catch Themes where they release the free version online with limited features, then offer an upgrade to the pro version with all the features.

Although you don’t need the pro version if you’re just running a personal website.

You can see how the theme looks on the demo page just to get an idea. But I wouldn’t personally think anyone needs the pro features for a simple portfolio.

Check Out This Theme


Minimalist Portfolio

Minimalist Portfolio WP

Here’s another viable option for creatives who want to share their work online. Minimalist Portfolio for WordPress integrates with a few nice plugins like the Easy Photography Portfolio(also free).

This means the theme is targeted towards photographers but not built solely for that audience.

Anyone can get this theme running smoothly and take advantage of its layout structure. Granted I think it’s a really basic design and it’s actually a child theme of Hamilton which makes it somewhat complex to edit.

Small note: a WordPress child theme is basically a theme that relies on another theme.

So when you install Minimalist Portfolio it also installs Hamilton. That can feel a bit clunky and it’s one reason you might be put off from this option.

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York WP Theme

So I really like the creative typography and page design of York. Once again this is a freemium theme where you get the free design for life, but can always upgrade to the pro version at any time.

Have a look at the York demo to see how it works in your browser.

The entire page is editable using the WordPress customizer so it’s definitely an easy option for newer WP users. Most of the pro features revolve around added benefits like custom image sliders, modal slideshows, and support from the theme developers.

Have a look at the York theme page to learn more and see what it’s all about.

Check Out This Theme



Gridster WP theme

With Gridster you’ll find a whole new style of portfolio design.

This runs with a fixed sidebar so the page itself feels “lengthy” when you have lots of content. That’s not a bad thing and it works really well for art portfolios.

But it also helps if you have enough links in the sidebar to keep people browsing your website. That’s why I recommend this theme for multidisciplinary artists who do many different kinds of work.

Gridster does come as a freemium theme and you can check out the full demo here.

The sidebar design is very clean and it really feels natural to the page. That’s one of the best features to this layout and it’s one way to make your portfolio design feel incredibly unique.

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Illdy theme

I love big page headers with lots of imagery. It’s one of the fastest ways to grab people’s attention and get them to stick around.

The free Illdy theme is perfect for this. It comes with a few awesome page features like custom portfolio galleries, testimonials, and smaller CTA buttons near the top of the page.

Those buttons are built for actions you want visitors to take. So if you want people to browse deeper into your portfolio you can add a button linking right to your portfolio page Pretty cool!

Check out the live demo to see if this theme could be right for you.

It’s totally free so you don’t lose much by giving it a shot!

Check Out This Theme



Brilliance theme

Here’s another very detailed header-focused theme called Brilliance.

It’s one of the many “lite” themes in my list but it’s also a theme you can run with the free design.

Note that many WordPress theme designers use the freemium model because it works. So don’t feel discouraged if you can’t find any 100% free themes with no upsells—those are hard to come by nowadays.

Still the Brilliance theme looks fantastic with a strong header, clean navigation, and a really simple portfolio item page.

One thing I don’t like here is the complex footer design. Brilliance comes with a bunch of columns in the footer where you can add blog posts, recent comments, recent tweets, stuff like that.

But you may not want all those extra features and it takes some effort to disable that footer section.

I recommend Brilliance more for artists who want a portfolio + blog combo. You’d be surprised how lucrative that can be and it’s pretty darn easy to setup your own blog on the same WordPress install.

Check Out This Theme


X Portfolio

X Portfolio theme

Super clean and super easy to browse. That’s the best way to describe X Portfolio for WordPress.

Anyone can set this up with ease and within 10-15 minutes have it running just the way they want. I think it’s a little basic and perhaps too simple for my taste. But when you don’t know how to design simplicity is your friend.

The only thing people want to see is your artwork. That’s exactly what they’ll see on your homepage with the X Portfolio theme.

Now this does offer a pro version and it’s actually priced fairly. In the “pro” version you get a dedicated portfolio plugin so you wouldn’t need to add one yourself. That alone might be worth the cost, but again the free version is more than enough.

Check out the live demo to see what you think.

It’s definitely simple but that may be exactly what you’re looking for.

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Ignis theme wp

What I like about the Ignis theme is the personalization.

This doesn’t just showcase your artwork or 3D models. It showcases you as an artist!

It may seem weird but that’s a lot of what this business revolves around: people. Who you know is huge and it’s really important to sell yourself along with your work.

Ignis comes with quite a few layouts including many different blog layouts. That makes it a lot easier to launch your own blog on top of WordPress and run it through your portfolio.

There’s a demo if you wanna check it out too.

But personally there’s a few features I just don’t like:

  • Custom floaty-type scrolling
  • Portfolio grid feels too spacious
  • Navigation dropdown menus aren’t intuitive

Those features alone push me away from this theme. Yet the added bonus of custom blog styles, a custom online shop feature, and a highly personalized design all helped Ignis make this list.

Check Out This Theme



Allegiant wp theme

If you take a look at the Allegiant theme you’ll notice pretty quickly it’s not just a personal theme. This can also work for art studios, exhibits, or creative teams that work together on art projects(like small game/animation studios).

Now this is like the opposite of personalized, at least by default. You do have to add some images of yourself, add a custom “about me” page and fix up the content a little.

But overall the design feels very professional which is the perfect angle for any serious art portfolio website.

Take a peek at the live demo to see what I mean. That homepage features a few recent blog posts, recent portfolio items, even a few products likely running through WooCommerce.

All of those features can’t be overlooked just because the theme is technically made for agencies.

If you’re willing to put in some time to edit Allegiant you can launch a powerhouse portfolio site all on the WordPress ecosystem.

Check Out This Theme


WP Portfolio

WP Portfolio theme

If you like the vertical sidebar design then you’ll love WP Portfolio. It’s probably the best free theme sporting this type of layout and it’s tailor-made for a visual portfolio.

Only trouble is that so many artists use this theme. It’s basically a cliché by now.

Granted that’s not a bad thing because it clearly works well and you can customize the design with unique fonts, your own logo, stuff like that.

But if an art director looks at 10, 20, 30+ portfolio websites in one day then yours might not stand out very much.

Still I come back to my original point: WP Portfolio is really popular because it just friggen works so well. This is one of the best portfolio themes in general, not just for artists but for all visual work.

Check out the live demo and click around. You’ll quickly understand why so many artists love this theme.

If you do run WP Portfolio just make sure you customize it a little bit with your own logo/branding and maybe some alternate typography.

You can add custom type into the site with the Easy Google Fonts plugin. Totally free to use for life and it gives you access to every font in the Google Fonts library.

Check Out This Theme

And on that note, that’s my list!

I’m sure you can find a few more by searching the themes directory for new portfolio themes.

But this list should be enough to find something for free that can work with all kinds of work. Doesn’t matter if you do oil painting or 3D modeling in ZBrush, this list will have something you can use to launch a sexy art portfolio site on WordPress.