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21 Free Vintage Spider Illustrations for A Spooky Halloween

Dive deep into the captivating world of vintage spider art! Perfect for Halloween, these public-domain illustrations are free to print and display.

As October’s chill settles in and Halloween’s shadow looms near, what better way to accentuate the spooky ambience than with vintage spider illustrations?

Just as I’ve previously delved into the world of vintage bat drawings, this time, I bring you captivating arachnid art from bygone eras – all free to print and in the public domain. Let these creepy crawlies’ prints adorn your space!

21 vintage spider prints pin

The Vintage Spider Illustrations

I’ve assembled a diverse collection of spider drawings and illustrations. These range from depictions in Natural History volumes to pieces showcased in art galleries and even those celebrated in popular culture.

Each one resides in the Public Domain and is available for download. Simply select the image of your choice, and a high-resolution version will appear in a separate window, ready for you to save or print.

Natural History Spider Illustrations

Did you know that spiders, those eight-legged wonders, are master architects? Their silk, ounce for ounce, is stronger than steel, enabling them to craft intricate webs that catch prey and shimmer beautifully in the morning dew.

They boast impressive diversity with over 48,000 known species, each with unique skills.

For instance, the Peacock spider, found in Australia, dazzles with vibrant colours and performs a captivating dance to woo its mate.

Meanwhile, the trapdoor spider plays hide and seek better than any child, creating a camouflaged burrow with a lid to ambush unsuspecting prey.

While they might give some of us the jitters, there’s no denying that spiders are fascinating creatures!

Print 1: Central American Spiders

Zoological illustrations of spiders made by A. T. Hollick 1889.

Central American Spiders

Print 2: Orb Weaver Spider

Vintage spider and web illustration from the British Naturalist, 1891.

Orb weaver spider

Print 3: Spider Chart

Georges Cuvier spider illustrations chart from “The animal kingdom, arranged according to its organization, serving as a foundation for the natural history of animals : and an introduction to comparative anatomy.” 1834.

Georges Cuvier Spider Chart

Print 4: Mygale Spider

This spider painting is from the collection Iconographia Zoologica at the University of Amsterdam.

Mygale spider

Print 5: Bird Catching Spider

While they can, on rare occasions, capture small birds, their primary diet consists of insects. The name “bird-catching” largely stems from observations of occasional bird predation and, perhaps, from the sheer size of these spiders, which suggests the potential for capturing larger prey.

Bird Catching Spider from George Shaw’s  The Naturalist’s Miscellany 1789.

George Shaw Bird Catching Spider

Print 6: Spiders on Guava Tree

Branch of a defoliated guava tree with tarantulas, ants and spiders, by Maria Sibylla Merian; a tarantula emerging from a nest, another consuming a hummingbird, with eggs nearby, on a branch with a guava fruit.

Maria Sibylla Merian spiders

Print 7: Seven Spiders

Seven spiders and an insect by Joris Hoefnagel, 1580.

Joris Hoefnagel seven spiders and an insect

Print 8: French Spiders

The following prints are from Nicolet Hercule’s book “Natural history of mites: found around Paris”. 1855.

Nicolet Hercule French Spiders 1855

Print 9: Malaysian Spider

A spider from the Workman, Thomas. book on Malaysian Spiders, 1896.

Malaysian Spider

American Spiders

The following three vintage spider drawings are from the book “American Spiders and Their Spinning Work. A Natural History of the Orb-weaving Spiders of the United States, with Special Regard to Their Industry and Habits” by Henry McCook.

Print 10: Wooing Spider

American spider wooing female

Print 11: Tarantulas

Two tarantulas, one rampant and the other about to strike.

Rampant tarantulas

Print 12: Male & Female of The Species

American Male and Female spiders

Spiders In Art

In art history, spiders have symbolized patience, creativity, and interconnectedness due to their meticulous web-weaving.

While some cultures revere them as weavers of fate, modern art often explores their eerie aspects, representing fear or the unfamiliar.

Print 13: Watercolour Spider

A Dutch watercolour drawing of a spider by Jan Vincentsz van der Vinne.

Dutch watercolour spider

Print 14: Japanese Spider

A Japanese black and white drawing of a smiling spider 1887.

Japanese Spider drawing

Print 15: Spider in Web

From the Rijksmuseum 1916.

Spider in web

Print 16: 1918 Spider in Web

Spider painting by Julie de Graag.

1918 spider in web

Print 17: Jan Augustin van der Goes Spider

Jan Augustin van der Goes Spider

Spiders In Popular Culture

Arachnids have been deeply intertwined with popular culture, appearing in various forms and eliciting a range of emotions:

  1. Literature: “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White celebrates a spider’s intelligence and kindness.
  2. Movies: Beyond horror flicks like “Arachnophobia,” the superhero Spider-Man, endowed with powers from a spider, stands out in films and comics since the 1960s.
  3. Mythology: Anansi the Spider in African folklore is a renowned trickster, while Native American tales often depict spiders as symbols of connection.
  4. Fashion & Art: Spider motifs in jewelry, tattoos, and attire can signify patience, fate, or danger.

Spiders can inspire awe, fear, admiration, or curiosity in all forms of culture, underscoring their complex relationship with humanity.

Print 18: Comic Spider

Illustration from Comic Insects featuring a spider in a web full of flies.

Comic spider

Print 19: Tarantula Poster

Movie poster advertisement for Tarantula (1955). By Reynold Brown.

Tarantula Poster 1955

Print 20: Giant Spider Catching People

This is an Italian Red Cross poster with a giant spider catching crowds of humans in its web, representing tuberculosis. This vintage spider is from the Welcome collection.

Giant spider catching people

Print 21: Spider Advertising Card

A trade card for a sewing thread company featuring a giant spider with a tiger entangled in its web.

(You’ll find more thread labels in this cherry blossom collection)

Spider and tiger thread trading card

Other Halloween Illustrations

The site has a wonderful collection of vintage Halloween Art, Halloween-themed Patents and old Halloween postcards.

Check out the human skull drawings and skeleton prints on the site for spooky images. Not forgetting the collection of owl drawings.

And if you are looking for a fun way to use some of these images for Halloween decor, check out this spooky illuminated skull and these DIY Halloween decorations.

spooky spider prints

If you fancy, you can Buy Me A Coffee Here.

Busy Monday 589 | | A Pinch of Joy

Sunday 1st of October 2023

[…] last week:  The Happy Mustard Seed — Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse   Picture Box Blue – Vintage Spider Illustrations  The Organized Island – Halloween Popcorn Balls    Fat Dad Foodie – Drunken Nut […]


Tuesday 26th of September 2023

I had no idea that male spiders were so small compared to the 'ladies'. great collection, I came from craftastic monday. Sandi


Tuesday 26th of September 2023

Me too, I'm not sure it's the same for all species though. Thanks for visiting.

Sue Graham

Saturday 23rd of September 2023

I love these. Thank you so much.


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

Thank you, glad you like them.

Natasha Mairs

Friday 22nd of September 2023

I don't like spiders but I am loving all these prints


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

Ha Ha, I think you and many others aren't fond of spiders.