Our full list of vintage illustrators in the public domain
Delving into the world of vintage illustration is wondrous, and all-consuming, but it can also be absolutely overwhelming! That’s why we decided to make this comprehensive list of all the illustrators in the public domain on our site. Sometimes you just want a big, full list to make the job easy!
Here you’ll be able to jump into each illustrator in their entirety. I love to explore the archives one illustrator at a time because it gives you such a sense of them as a person, their interests, their style, and the time in which they lived, as opposed to just one image in isolation. You’ll also find information about each illustrator to help understand them even more.
Love European fairy tales? Then you're going to adore this gorgeous gallery of vintage fairy tale illustrations by Swedish author and illustrator Elsa Beskow. Elsa Beskow illustrations and stories are best known for weaving nature and fantasy together, into delightful stories that entertain as well as teach children important lessons about friendship, childhood, and the natural world. You'll find pictures of woodland folk with toadstool hats, children shrunk down to pixie size, friendly rabbits and owls, fruit and pine cone people and much more. These days, Beskow's work is well known for its association with Steiner and Waldorf styles of education, and her books are often used as teaching aids. Her books are embraced by Waldorf as they portray children's independence, happy homes, and a connection to nature. Often, children have adventures in the woods, accompanied by anthropomorphic plants and animals. These vintage Elsa Beskow illustrations would make beautiful prints to hang on the wall, gift cards, clip art for school projects or decoupage layers. We have over 150 Elsa Beskow illustrations available for download, and they're all in the public domain! Copyright free and free for you to use as you wish for personal and commercial use.
Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, also known as Ida Sherbourne Rentoul and Ida Sherbourne Outhwaite, was an Australian illustrator of children's books. Her work mostly depicted magical creatures, such as elves and fairies
Maxfield Parrish created surreal and fantastical fine art in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. He is best known for his vintage advertisements for luxury goods like perfume, cosmetics and chocolates, and often used fairies and nymphs in his work.