The Art of Horror

The lush lost art of film posters

Seeker of Truth

Years ago, in the golden age of Hollywood, movies were promoted with glorious, colourful posters, illustrated by artists who still worked with paint and a brush. Film posters are a somewhat under-appreciated genre of art. But some of the world’s most talented artists made their living creating images for movie posters.

I’m passionate about art and I love horror films, so these posters from a bygone era are something I can really get excited about.

There have been many masterpiece horror films produced in the last 80+ years. Some accompanied by very impressive posters. The 1930’s and ’40s saw the creation of some absolutely stunning works of art created to draw in potential paying customers for some of the most iconic, classic films ever made. From the well known: Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), and The Invisible Man (1933); to the slightly lesser known but equally brilliant: The Black Cat (1934)…

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Horror”

    1. Can’t lay my hands on the book at the red hot minute but in a lighting / camera book it notes that when we saw by candlelight our “posters” ie frescoes and paintings were considered “realistic” or super-realistic in terms of our ambient light. Thus the progress in the age of film (and gaslight and early electric light) to high contrast being real and glowing colors being super-realistic.

      In the current era of headshots and avatars online, what does that tell us about all that cold blue and giant faces in current posters- never looking directly at us except in threat, never acknowledging the essential beautiful imperfection of real life, repeating the same photoshopped eidolons..?

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  1. Wendy Provides More Substantial, Balanced, Hence Interesting Expo

    Now this critique is much more “like it,” I’d say, tiger–and note the diff. w. geekritique–the geek is all abstractions, and quite vague too, I think, w. very little in way of cogent details informing or substantiating. But this one, by “Wendy,” is far more balanced and substantiated for the details backing-up the abstractions presented.

    Actually, to tell the truth, I absolutely DESPISE horror films, but I could still appreciate the (poster) art and the exposition given by the writer, afore-mentioned Wendy. Wendy seems like a good observer worth following and reading, good writer too–I liked the diary quote for the last artist, Ballester.

    The posters, shown by Wendy, are really more oriented to luridity and an immediate, nearly superficial motif–diff. fm actual paintings as u’d find on display in museums or galleries–at least for the classical sort, as by Raphael, say.

    Good post for this one, tiger–not that the geek is bad, for he’s interesting in his own way–I just really hated that movie and its trailer.

    Liked by 1 person

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