100+ Vintage fairy illustrations from the public domain

“Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S Lewis.

Welcome to the most magical archive of vintage fairy illustrations! Gnomes, fairies, pixies, nymphs and sprites unite! The perfect way to add a touch of magic to any project, here you’ll find copyright free downloads to use as you wish!

Mostly sourced from vintage children’s fairytale books in the public domain, we love the way the stories come through these rich fairyland scenes. Rainbows, magic forests, bird-friends and toadstools, not to mention spider-silk dresses and translucent butterfly-like wings.

Some would say that fairytales are the ultimate source of gorgeous vintage illustration and there are plenty of images we’ve found here that would have me agreeing with them. The “Golden Age” of illustration (1850-1925) produced a huge amount of stunningly detailed, magical, story-infused imagery, and I’m so excited to be able to bring you all this and more in our vintage fairy illustration gallery!

Here you’ll find a myriad of artistic styles, from delicate lithographs, watercolors, geometric art deco, to Japanese woodblock inspired prints. In the past, fairy tales weren’t considered to be only for children, and the illustrations that accompanied the stories could be intricate, dark and macabre. On the flipside some of the most iconic children’s illustrations were produced in this time – think Peter Rabbit and the original Alice in Wonderland.

We’re continuously adding more free vintage illustrations to our archive! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook, or sign up to our mailing list (you’ll see it here on the right) to see our latest treasures from the public domain. Visit the archives to see past posts for sourcing information.