An Informal Study of Snake Art and Imagery

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This site was last updated on November 26, 2011.

This site was started on November 10, 2009.

The longer I study snake art and imagery, the more convinced I become that snakes are a very important element in the arts of cultures all over the world.

The following collection of images indicates just how important snakes are in the art of the world. From crude face painting and lurid tattos to Playboy-style photos and works by Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo, from Ty Beanie Baby snake toys to the world-wide art of cuisine and art photography, from dancing with snakes to ballets about the Temptation of Eve, from cartoon snakes to real people named "Snake" -- snake art is universal and records our fascination with, our admiration of, and our fear of snakes.

Here you will find everything from Cleopatra to politics to legends such as Lilith and the Lamia to a snake from a Sherlock Holmes story to Pope Benedict XVI petting a python. Here you will also find recipes for preparing snake meat to eat and you will find military and police patches and pub signs and movie lobby cards and logos that feature a snake as part of their design. You will also find Incan, Mayan, and Aztec snake gods right beside snake-handling Christians from Sand Mountain (Alabama) and Celtic animal gods. There are Asian snake images and ancient images from places like Crete and Byzantium. You will also find here images created by face-painters at the local fair, by Native Americans, and by Hindu Indians. There are political cartoons such as an anti-American snake cartoon from a Yemeni newspaper. Photography, cuisine, movies, burlesque dancing, religious symbolism and imagery, advertising, and on and on. . .all the arts, both major and minor, both commercial and aesthetic, both silly and serious, are represented here.

There is no real order to the images since this is not a careful study of imagery; furthermore, I do not pretend that I understand everything about snake imagery. However, I am sure that anyone who looks at these images will come away convinced of the importance of snakes in the history of art.

To read how I encountered five new snake images in a single afternoon, please click on this link.

Here are many more images!
(Scroll up and down at random, but the most recent additions to this site are near the top of the page.)