Krampus Art in the Style of the Old Masters
Before we get into the actual artwork, I feel its prudent to provide a bit of backstory on the history and origin of Krampus and a bit of the lore surrounding him. Well, unfortunately, we don't have an exact timeline for when the story of Krampus was first told. However, we can date Krampus back to early pre-Christian Alpine traditions in Germany, Austria and other German-speaking regions of Europe. It is believed that the Krampus character has been part of Christmas celebrations in the region for hundreds of years. The exact origins of the Krampus story are not clear, but it is thought to have roots in pagan celebrations of the winter solstice and early Christian folk beliefs.
We may all be a little more familiar with some of the lore around Krampus and his purpose. Krampus is a mythical creature from Alpine folklore who is said to accompany Saint Nicholas during the Christmas season to punish naughty children. According to tradition, Krampus would visit the homes of naughty children on the night of December 5th, known as Krampusnacht. Krampus uses switches or chains to whip children who had misbehaved. In some legends, for particularly evil or naughty children, Krampus would also capture particularly naughty children in his basket and carry them away to his lair.
The Krampus legend has been passed down through generations and continues to be a part of holiday celebrations in some parts of Europe, particularly in Germany, Austria, and other German-speaking countries. Today, Krampus is often portrayed as a horned, goat-like monster with a long tongue, fangs, and a fearsome appearance. He is sometimes depicted as having fur or shaggy hair, cloven hooves, and a demonic appearance.
I am sure you have seen recent depictions of Krampus through modern movies and cinema. Some of the earliest imagery of Krampus is from Christmas postcards that were a popular form of holiday greeting in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The postcards typically depicted the Krampus figure in various scenes, such as whipping naughty children, capturing them in his basket, or leading them away to his lair. The postcards were often hand-colored or printed in vivid, ornate detail, and served as a form of entertainment and seasonal celebration for families and friends.
Krampus Christmas postcards fell out of popularity in the mid-20th century, but have seen a resurgence in recent years as interest in the Krampus tradition has increased. Many modern Krampus postcards feature nostalgic, vintage-style illustrations, and some have humorous or tongue-in-cheek themes. Today, Krampus postcards are collected by fans of the Krampus tradition and serve as a unique form of holiday greeting and folk art.
Now, those images are pretty easy to find via a quick search engine result. Instead I want to introduce some positively unique images of Krampus done in styles of the old art masters and even some of the popular modern artists. Enjoy.
Krampus in the Style of Rembrandt
Krampus in the Style of Van Gogh
Krampus in the Style of Leonardo Da Vinci
Krampus in the Style of Francisco Goya
Krampus in the Style of Salvador Dalí
Krampus in the Style of Edvard Munch
Krampus in the Style of Bansky