Beautiful vintage snake illustrations, all copyright free!

Snakes are one of the most potent symbols in art, mythology and literature. They’re still a popular motif in modern art and design, due to the tension between their strange beauty and sense of danger.

We’ve pulled many of these snake images from the archives of Sir Thomas Smith, who created the work “Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa”. This guy was a multifaceted over-achiever, who throughout his life worked as a surgeon, zoologist, explorer and ethnologist. For his book he illustrated a wide variety of local animals but his reptiles are some of his best-known works.

So, enjoy this gallery of vintage snake illustrations! They’d make an amazing surface pattern print in repeat, tattoo inspo, or other graphic design motifs. Download them below for free, and don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list so we can update you when we add more to the gallery.