100+ Beautiful vintage science illustrations for you to download for free!

Much more than just beautiful artwork to look at, scientific illustration is a communication device that helps scientists explain complex concepts and details in an easy-to-understand and engaging way. We often think of art and science to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but in vintage scientific illustration, these two disciplines lean on each other. Through scientific illustration we can be shown the minuscule scales on a butterfly’s wings, the different parts of an atom, a reconstruction of an extinct bird’s foot, and the xylem and phloem of a plant’s vascular system.

This is the full gallery of vintage scientific illustration. Natural history is a big area! We’ve divided it up into lots of subcategories like vintage fish illustration, birds, animals, anatomy, trees, plants, flowers, insects and more.

You can see why I find it easy to get JUST A BIT excited about this category! I’m definitely no scientist but I find it fascinating looking at illustrations like these, and I’m even more enchanted by them when I think about what it must have been like in the 19th and 20th centuries, before photography, making discoveries, and recreating them in watercolor and ink to share with the world.

So are you ready to dive into this amazing gallery of vintage scientific illustration? All these images are from the public domain and are free to download! Copyright free – so you can use them however you like. And because I’m just a LITTLE OBSESSED with this category, you can be sure I’ll be adding more and more scientific illustrations as time goes by. So make sure you’ve signed up to my mailing list! I’ll keep you updated when fresh materials come through.