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Vampire Art

  • Jun 22, 2010
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Well, as we all know, I love all different kinds of art. I also love vampires, so here I have combined the two to create a unique list for my art community. I hope it stirs the imagination and perhaps a bit of blood too.
This list is dedicated to my friends Trashcanman and Esmeraude.
Queen of the Night (a.k.a. The Burney Relief)
Queen of the Night
This is perhaps the most classical image of Lilith, however, it should be understood that while this was originally identified as Lilith based on the iconography of the owls and lions, it is quite likely a depiction of the goddess Ishtar or possibly Ereshkigal.
The Burney Relief, also known as The Queen of the Night, is a Babylonian relief believed to date back to around 1800 B.C.E. and it is currently on display in the British Museum in London.

The Downfall of Adam and Eve and Their Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
The Temptation of Adam and Eve
This image, also known as "The Temptation of Adam and Eve", featured in the Sistine Chapel, depicts Lilith as being the serpent that convinces them to eat of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Note that during the Renaissance period, it was Eve and not Lilith who was portrayed as the most beautiful one. This is because at the time, Lilith was considered a predatory demoness and nothing more, whereas Eve was considered to be the feminine ideal. In the current feminist belief, it is the exact opposite. Eve is now seen as being weak and is blamed for the original sin and it is Lilith who is celebrated for her independence.
Lady Lilith
Lady Lilith
In Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 1863 painting "Lady Lilith" we are given a Pre-Raphaelite image of Lilith which shows her as beautiful and vain. One could interpret this as the artist's way of saying that the feminist depiction of Lilith is self-centered and narcissistic, which is not a very popular way of thinking about Lilith or feminism today.


John Collier's 1887 painting "Lilith" is a classic example of the Pre-Raphaelite style and portrays Lilith as an iconic feminist figure of beauty, seduction, and power. This is something of a contrast to Dante Gabriel Rossetti's version. The snake in this image reveals that Collier did not see Lilith as being the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve, but shows her cavorting with it.
Edvard Munch's famous expressionistic painting captures the very essence of the late Victorian concept of the female vampire while shrouding the work in a symbolic meaning.
Lamia (Waterhouse Version I)
Lamia Version I
John William Waterhouse's original version of Lamia is a masterpiece and has a tenderness that later versions lacked.
The Vampire
The Vampire
This controversial and yet classic painting was created by Philip Burne-Jones, the son of famous Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones.
Lamia (Waterhouse Version II)
Lamia Version II
Waterhouse's second depiction of Lamia is quite nice aesthetically, but the character herself comes off as nothing more than vain and not at all tragic.
Herbert James Draper's depiction of Lamia is a masterpiece in my mind and certainly the most introspective of the three versions on this list, though not my favorite.
Nosferatu (film artwork)
Albin Grau's glorious conceptual and promotional artwork for the 1922 German horror film remains among my favorites. Rarely were the Gothic and Expressionist styles ever combined to produce such atmospheric images.
Lust for the Undead
Lust for the Undead
Greg Hildebrandt, of The Hildebrandt Brothers fame, created this extraordinary image of Count Dracula preying upon Lucy for a 1985 illustrated edition of the Gothic horror novel.
Arthur Frees His Love's Soul
Arthur Frees His Love's Soul
Another work by Hildebrandt, this piece however shows the horrific aftermath of Dracula's attack on poor Lucy, when her husband must destroy her heart in order to save her soul from the fate of vampirism.

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July 13, 2010
Nice list. Very on topic too.
July 14, 2010
July 01, 2010
Fascinating and lovely list, Count! So that's where the Vampire Historians logo comes from :)
July 01, 2010
Thanks. I'm undecided if I should add more to it. There are a lot pf obscure works where I'm not sure who the artist is or the title of that I'd like to add, but I don't like to create topics for artwork that don't have an artist to go along with them. I'm not sure what you mean by "that's where the Vampire Historians logo comes from " though.
June 24, 2010
What a beautiful collection of artwork. I had forgotten about Hildebrandt's work. Makes me wonder how much "vampire art" is really out there.... I'm touched and honored by the dedication, too. ;o)
June 24, 2010
Thanks and you deserved the dedication. I like to make sure that those people who don't necessarily get the recognition they deserve on the site, at least get the occasional shout-out so that they know they are appreciated. Out of curiosity, were there any major works that I forgot to include? I was on the fence about comic book art and if I had included those too then I could have easily had this list go on forever...
June 25, 2010
This question sent me Googling off in search of vampire art and I found quite a bit, though mostly illustration type work, and a good bit definitely nsfw! I thought this was lovely though: http://www.healthyhuman.net/vampire.jpg
June 25, 2010
June 24, 2010
This list would be perfect if my photo was here....LOL! Sorry I am late but hey, I am here...
June 24, 2010
Yeah, I'd almost forgotten about it since you never sent me the preview. By the way, should I have included comic book art of vampires too? I wasn't sure how to label them since they would be panel specific...
June 22, 2010
Great pieces of artwork, Sean! I especially loved number 6, which I have seen before. :)

In regards to your statement that read: "...whereas Eve was considered to be the feminine ideal. In the current feminist belief, it is the exact opposite. Eve is now seen as being weak and is blamed for the original sin and it is Lilith who is celebrated for her independence." I must disagree. Eve is not always seen as being weak by feminists. There was a really amazing poem I read about Eve naming the animals that gave a very different insight into Eve. I don't remember if this was it, but I was finding a title called "Eve Names the Animals" by Susan Donnelly. I'm sure there are other poems with similar themes, which is the only reason I hesitate to claim if this was the original one I read as an undergrad. I just loved it, though! It was a very powerful poem.
June 22, 2010
That line is a specific reference to my Vampire Mythology review and modern interpretations on the Genesis myth and wasn't really an expression of my own opinion.
June 22, 2010
Ah! That explains it. I didn't think it sounded like you, but then again, I haven't finished your larger piece concerning Vampire Mythology. I will remedy this fact after I complete some reviews, though. :)
June 22, 2010
Basically, when the medieval rabbis decided not to include the story of Lilith in the Bible, the original sin which originally belonged to Adam was then transferred to Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. In modern perspectives, Eve is either viewed as the reason for mankind's banishment from Paradise or she is seen as a victim of deception because of the serpent, whereas Lilith is often seen as a feminist because she defied Adam and God. You can read more in Chapter I of my vampire mythology review.
June 22, 2010
Thanks for the reference! I'm logging onto chat since we are messaging back and forth if you want to talk live. :)
Lists Inspired by This List
Showing 1-1 of 1
created a list. October 14, 2010
Rather than give explicit descriptions detailing why I love these works of art, I've instead posted a slew of lame one-liners.   Happy Halloween! …
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