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 death, disease, devils, and existential dread. Much of this gothic imagery can be considered "proto-Goth," in particular the poetic renderings of dying and 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.