There’s nothing like a few creepy paintings to spice up a dimly-lit hallway at a haunted house or Halloween party. But if you don’t have the skills or monetary resources, setting up a ghoulish gallery can be a problem. That’s where I come in. For today’s update, I’ve assembled a collection of public domain paintings that can be printed out for free. I tried to select material that was spooky enough by itself so that all you have to do is put them in a frame. However, don’t let me stop you from using them to make one of the many cool “haunted painting” props noted at the Monsterlist.
Those of you who read “Spirit Rappings” might recall my noting that, under US Copyright law, any American work published before January 1, 1923 is in the (American) public domain. When selecting foreign works, I made sure to seek out ones whose copyrights had also expired in their country of origin. In fact, I went as far as to select stuff that was well over 100 years old! Considering how the average copyright duration outside the US is the life of the creator plus 50-70 years, I think we can all agree that I went above and beyond the call of duty on this matter. That said, those of you reading from outside the USA should be wary about using any of these works (unless they are already PD in your country). To see a full-size view, please click the pictures.
“All is Vanity” by Charles Allan Gilbert (Published in 1892)
Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe (1848)
“Vanitas Still Life” by Pieter Claesz
“Still Life with a Skull and a Writing Quill” by Pieter Claesz
“Vanitas” by Pieter Claesz
“Allegory with Skull” by Antoine Wiertz
“The Hasty Burial” by Antoine Wiertz
“Saturn Devouring His Son” by Francisco Goya
“Judith Victorious” by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Although we think our information is solid, at the end of the day we have to admit that we’re not lawyers. Our legal commentary is worth exactly what you paid for. We’re just sharing this since this is interesting and those seeking to benefit from allegedly public domain works should consult at least one lawyer before doing so. Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any of the links in this article or using the material noted here. Attempt at your own discretion.