Prints Of Darkness: The World of Macabre Vintage Posters » The Poster Collector

Prints Of Darkness: The World of Macabre Vintage Posters

| Poster Collector | 5 Min Read

Before TV and radio, the main way of reaching the public was with large, eye-catching posters with theatres, silent film and opera advertising with bright colourful images fixed to walls or fences.

Unfortunately over the years many of these images have been lost, destroyed or only ever found in very small single digit numbers, but Los Angeles based Century Guild a private museum and art gallery that specialising in the styles of Art Nouveau and Symbolism, has a selection of prints from the world of the peculiar and macabre. Some of these prints date back as far as the 1880s and come from countries such as Germany, Austria, France and Italy.

The gallery owner, Thomas Negovan said “What I find most striking is the modernity of the visual message,” adding “We tend to view the turn of the century through a sepia-toned lens of quaintness when the truth is that the world then was just as dynamic and thrilling as our lives are today.”


The Prints of Darkness - Cocaine Poster

The Dance of Death aka Totentanz

The Prints of Darkness - The Dance of Death Poster

L’Hecatombe – La Syphilis

The Prints of Darkness - La Syphilis


Opium Poster


Alraune Poster

The Victims of Alcohol aka Les Victimes de L’Alcool

The Victims of Alcohol Poster

Teatro alla Scala: Verdi

Teatro alla Scala Verdi

The Eleven Executioners aka Die Elf Scharfrichter

The Eleven Executioners Poster


Rasputin Poster

Anti-Alcohol aka Az Alkohol

Anti Alcohol Poster

Elimin Roach Poison

Elimin Poster

Shadows and Light

Shadows and Light Poster


If that’s left you wanting a bit more. Thomas Negovan has written two books covering Rare Occult Artworks from 1880-1970 and Rare and Peculiar Posters 1862-1973.

The Prints of Darkness - Infernal Creatures

Infernal Creatures: A Collection of Rare Occult Artworks 1880-1970

by Thomas Negovan

Sultry witches, handsome devils, and all manner of sinister, mystical creatures! Over seventy extremely rare occult posters from the Century Guild museum archive are collected in Infernal Creatures. Rare visions conjured by the hands of Gustav Klimt, Carlos Schwabe, Josef Fenneker, and more are shown in full-color images, alongside commentary from historian and museum director Thomas Negovan. Each image was captured directly from the original artwork; professionally photographed, meticulously color corrected, and printed for you to enjoy at the highest resolution possible.

The Prints of Darkness - Beautiful Macabre

Beautiful Macabre: Rare and Peculiar Posters 1862-1973

by Thomas Negovan

Over seventy extremely rare and peculiar posters from the Century Guild archive are collected in Beautiful Macabre. Sinister and sensual artworks spanning from 1862 to 1973 are shown in full color images, alongside historical commentary from historian and museum director Thomas Negovan. Posters topics include war, social hygiene, venereal diseases / STIs / STDs (notably syphilis), and advertisements for everything from automobiles to film! While the internet is a magnificent repository of data, at Century Guild we still love curling up with books! And many–if not most–of the images presented here are not available on the internet at all. Each image was captured from the original artwork, professionally photographed and meticulously color corrected, and printed for you to enjoy at the highest resolution possible.

Images have been sourced from Century Guild and quotes based on an article by Kathryn Bromwich.

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