What defines "Goth art"? Much like every aspect of the subculture itself, there are numerous paintings created with the Goth aesthetic in mind. Still, there is a wealth of dark images created well before the concept of Goth ever came to fruition. Decades, even centuries before teenagers of all walks of life, including future famous celebrities, went through their so-called "Goth phases," artists crafted haunting depictions of disease, devils, and existential dread. Much of this gothic imagery can be considered "proto-Goth," in particular the poetic renderings of suffering by John Everett Millais, and the anxiety-infused paintings by Edvard Much, especially his seminal work "The Scream," to name only two.
This collection of gothic paintings, created by some of the most renowned painters in history, works as a kind of beginners guide to the images that either directly inspired the Goth movement or inherently appeal to the Goth-minded individual, given their dark and even twisted leanings.
'Hell' By Hieronymus Bosch, c. 1490Is this Goth?
'Death On A Pale Horse' By Hamilton Mortimer, c. 1775Is this Goth?
'The Bat-Woman' By Albert Joseph Pénot, c. 1890Is this Goth?
'Skull With A Burning Cigarette' By Vincent Van Gogh, 1885-1886Is this Goth?