An easel is an upright support (generally a tripod) used for displaying something. It is most often used to hold up an artist's canvas while the painter is working or to hold a completed painting for exhibition. The simplest form of an artist's easel consists of three vertical posts joined at one end. A pivoting mechanism allows the centremost post to pivot away from the other two, forming a tripod. The two non-pivoting posts have a horizontal cross member on which the canvas is placed.

An easel can be full-height, designed for standing by itself on the floor. Easels can also be shorter, designed for use on a table. The full-height easels typically have telescopic legs that collapse for ease of transport.

Easels are known to have been in use since the time of the ancient Egyptians. In the 1st century, Pliny the Elder makes reference to a large panel placed upon an easel.