1600s Art

How hard life must have been in the 17th century? Think of all of the things you treasure and then think of how few of them would have been available to the average person in the 1600s. Would they have been available at all, at any price? To own a book must have been like something magical. Handmade paper, ink and engravings. It was the time of Galileo, John Milton (Paradise Lost), Rubens and Johann Sebastian Bach. It must have been an exciting time of discovery and exploration.

Gutenberg had invented European movable type in 1439. It revolutionized the way printing was done. By the 1600s, there were printing houses and even the first publishing companies.

Here on Reusable Art, we celebrate thousands of vintage, public domain images. But, there’s something special when thinking about 1600s art. What stories the pieces could tell, if only they could talk. Where have they traveled? Who held their pages in their hands? What historical moments may they have witnessed. OK, can you tell I am intrigued with working with vintage art this old?

Anyway, if you are looking for the most vintage of the vintage images, this might be a good place to start.

Vintage Letter Q Image

Quite the sweet drop cap letter is this one. Vintage letter Q image with a white letter on a black background with leaves, vines and a central flower.

Drop Cap Frame

You can’t get much more vintage than 1651. This floral drop cap frame is over 360 years old. Add any letter in the font of your choice for a custom look.

Munster’s Sea Monster

Hugely popular work during the 15th and 16th centuries, Cosmographia; contained a number of Sebastian Munster’s sea monsters; including this toothy fellow.

Flower & Crown Border

Over 360 years old, this flower and crown border features numerous flowers and leaves around a central crown image. Would be a great bookmark to color.

Queen Motif

Vintage engraving from 1614 featuring a queen, cherubs and a bit of Latin. It doesn’t get much more vintage than this 400 year old, queen motif drawing.

Pheasant in Bamboo

Fine example of vintage Asian art by the Japanese artist Tsunenobu KanĂ´ (1636-1713). It includes a pheasant in bamboo done simply in pen and ink.

Crown Drawing

350 year-old crown drawing. It’s quite small but I think that might make it even more usable in a mixed media or other modern-day art project.


Truly vintage illustration of a lemon on a branch.


Vintage quince image from 1653.

Pair of Apricots

Vintage and public domain drawing of a pair of apricots. It is over 350 years old. This black and white line drawing of apricots is free to download.


Vintage fruit in a vintage image.