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Ghosts Depicted in Art

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posted on Dec, 15 2013 @ 01:28 PM
Looking at these paintings I couldn't help but wonder what made the artists paint them. Did some of them actually draw their inspiration from experience, or were they just using their imagination? Back then people couldn't just take a snapshot using their cameras, so I'm guessing this could have been one way for them to attempt recording a ghost sighting. I have come across numerous more paintings by famous and unknown artists showing ghosts but only wanted to show the 10 I liked the most, or found the most intriguing.
If you come across any paintings of ghosts not shown here, please feel free to add them.

1. J.E. Millais-Speak!Speak!-1895

2. The ghost of Caesar taunts Brutus about his imminent defeat. Copperplate engraving, Edward Scriven -1802

3. The ghost of Banqo-Theodore Chasseriau-1854

4. Richard III and the Ghosts- William Blake ca. 1806

5. Mark Ryden-Ghost Girl- 2006

6. Kaidan Chibusa Enoki-The Ghostly Tale of the Wet Nurse Tree-19th c.

7. Joseph-Werner-Four-Grave Robbers Awaken a Ghost-17th c.

8. Alfred Kubin-Water Ghost-1905

9. John Downman - The Ghost of Clytemnestra Awakening the Furies-1781

10. Laura Milnor Iverson-Lenore by an Olive tree-2010

posted on Dec, 15 2013 @ 02:15 PM
reply to post by Rainbowresidue

That's an interesting idea. Ghost stories are ancient, as of course you know, but yes I wonder too whether the earlier artists were painting from memory or from imagination. And then I wonder how much they have in turn shaped future generations ideas of what ghosts look like? Do we see what we've been told to expect?
Intriguing thread!


posted on Dec, 15 2013 @ 06:36 PM
I don't know if this one counts, but the idea you've offered is absolutely fascinating. Great thread. Your selections, imo, are very compelling. I look forward to exploring your line of research further.

The Nightmare

posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 04:32 AM
reply to post by Rainbowresidue

This has taken ages, but I think (fingers crossed) I can add this picture to your collection:

posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 08:57 AM
reply to post by beansidhe

reply to post by The GUT

Thank you both for the encouragement.

I was thinking, what am I doing toying around with art showing ghosts in the 17th-21st century? Why not see how far back I can go?

~1300 B.C. :

Judgment scene from the Book of the Dead. In the three scenes from the Book of the Dead (version from ~1300 BCE) the dead man (Hunefer) is taken into the judgment hall by the jackal-headed Anubis. The next scene is the weighing of his heart, with Ammut awaiting the result and Thoth recording. Next, the triumphant Hunefer, having passed the test, is presented by the falcon-headed Horus to Osiris, seated in his shrine with Isis and Nephthys. (British Museum)

My only hiccup here is it says "dead man" and not spirit/ghost, but I guess I'm just being too nit-picky.

edit on 16/12/2013 by Rainbowresidue because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 09:40 AM
reply to post by Rainbowresidue

There's got to be some middle ground between the 17th century and 1300 bc! It's a really interesting premise, I'll have a think and see if I can find some other things.

B x

posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 05:46 AM
reply to post by Rainbowresidue

Hi, I was thinking about your idea and according to the font of all knowledge that is wikipedia, this is the earliest known painting of a ghost:

The Ghost of Oyuki

This seems a bit odd, since I'm sure a lot of religious art would show older images, but maybe they wouldn't call them ghosts?

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