Although vampires have become very popular recently in films, TV, and novels, vampires were being depicted in artwork hundreds of years ago!
One of the most famous pieces of vampire art that is more than a hundred years old was painted by none other than the famous painter Edvard Munch (most famously known for his painting entitled “The Scream”). Painted in 1894, the painting entitled Love and Pain, or more commonly refered to as Vampyren or the Vampire depicts a vampire woman embracing a man whom we can only assume she is feasting upon. Her face and the face of the man are slightly blurred, and the vampire’s red hair attempts to obscure her – but her actions are clear – she is draining the life force from her victim.
Around the same time, in 1897 artist Philip Burne Jones painted a piece of art called “Le Vampire”. The painting depicts a female vampire kneeling atop her victim, head tilted back as she gazes down at her victim – an unconscious man in front of her. Although the woman’s body position does not appear threatening, her face gives her thoughts away.
Interestingly, close to fifty years before these two painters came forward with vampire art, another artist, William-Adolphe Bouguereau in 1850 painted a gruesome image of what one can only imagine is a blood-sucking fiend. The painting is actually however not depicting an actual vampire, but rather two poor souls fighting. (That the one appears to be giving a vampire bite is very interesting…) The painting was inspired by Dante’s Inferno and shows Dante (in the brown cloak) as he is being led through the levels of Hell by Virgil.