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HUGE List of Artists In The Public Domain for AI Prompts

Over 50 public domain artists to use for AI prompts! Tips and ideas for how to find good artwork in the public domain to use for writing the best ai prompts for AI image generators.

A lot of the old masters painted in oil about religious themes or portraits which makes much of the AI art look very similar. I wanted to find works in the public domain that were different stylistically so that I could make AI art in other ways!

HUGE List of Artists In The Public Domain for AI Prompts

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Video :: How To Use The AI Prompts

Why I Wrote This Post About Artists In The Public Domain

I LOVE finding legitimate creative inspiration from artists and writers who are no longer living and whose copyright on their work has entered in the public domain!

I have a super cool blog post about all the fun stories and fables that are in the public domain, and make artsy freebies using public domain images to give away on my Artsy Fartsy site!

I wrote this post for me! So I would have a reference to work off of when I wanted to create my own AI artwork.

I used the the image generator to make all these pictures!

What Kinds of Programs Can You Use These Prompts with?

If you are new to AI art generators, here is a quick list of some of the popular ones!

  • Stable Diffusion
  • Unreal Engine
  • Dalle 2
  • Midjourney

How Does Copyright and Public Domain Work?

Just a little overview about copyright and how it works…

According to, in 1978 it was established that copyright lasts for the life of the artist PLUS 70 years. Anonymous works have a copyright of between 95-120 years.

So how is Frida Kahlo's work, a famous Mexican artist, is allowed to be used when she died in 1954? Well Mexican copyright only extends for 50 years after the death of the artist, so her work is in the public domain.

Many of the artists I chose to add to my list have been dead for hundreds of years and I have checked that the work is in the public domain. For newer artists I have tried to make notes if there is a question.

A quick note about why avoiding using ai-generated images based on current artists and why they are so problematic…

An artist named Greg Rutkowski is a famous video game artist whose work is often used in text prompts for ai-generated art. The art created is very similar to his work and thus could violate his copyright.

It is much better to use art styles from public domain artists to write effective ai art prompts that will violated current copyright!

Should We Be Making AI Art At All?

Before I give you the list, I think you might like to know what I think about the ethics of using AI art generators at all as a working artist.

First off, I am violently opposed to using any artist in your AI images whose work in not in the public domain. I KNOW copyright doesn't cover a “style” of artists' work, but it seems very plain to me that making art that mimics a living artist is stealing, so I won't do that at all.

Secondly, I don't know yet how I feel about the fact that AI art is generated by scraping the internet and therefore uses humans artwork to be the basis of the pictures that are made with generative AI art.

What I do know is that I have seen major disruptions in all the creative industries since 1999 when I started really working on the internet and I want to stay current with technology so I am going to be dabbling in AI artwork myself for my own personal use or for use on my blogs.

That said, anything I have for sale or list as a freebie to give away is either in the public domain or created by my own creativity or imagination.

Artists In The Public Domain To Use For AI Prompts

I chose specific works of visual art by these artists that represent a certain medium such as watercolor, pen and ink, color palettes, vibrant colors, light and bright, artistic styles or subject.

The best AI art prompts are written is “in the style of ARTIST NAME, NAME OF THE PIECE, NOTES ABOUT THE MEDIUM OR TONE OF THE ART”. More detailed descriptions are the better your ai image generation tools will work.

I have also separated them into categories that made sense for me, if you are going to use this list for your own art, please feel free to reorder them in your own way. That said, under no circumstances is this list to be recreated digitally or in print without attributing my website.

Mystical or Gaming Generative Art Prompts

Hieronomous Bosch – background in the style of Hieronomous Bosch’s Christ in Limbo, dark and brooding, scary

AI Art Prompts - In The Style of Hieronomous Bosch

Salvator Rosa – landscape background in the style of Salvator Rosa’s A Coastal Landscape With Soldiers Resting and Conversing, light and bright

AI Art Prompts in the Style of Salvator Rosa

Claude-Joseph Vernet – landscape background in the style of Claude-Joseph Vernet’s A Seastorm, dark and brooding

People Prompts for AI Art

Raphael – in the style of Raphael’s School of Athens fresco painting, colored illustration, light and bright, gathering of people, gold, arches

AI Art Prompts In the Style of Raphael

Sandro Botticelli – nautical scene in the style of Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, mystical, light and bright, beautiful face

Francisco Goya – in the style of Francisco Goya’s Time of the Old Women, senior woman, opulently dressed

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Goya

François Boucher – in the romantic style of François Boucher’s Love Target, chubby angels, light and bright

Eugène Louis Lami – in the style of Eugène Louis Lami’s Lovers Beautiful, couple standing together in ornate clothing outside in a field of flowers

AI Art Prompts In the Style of Lami

Thomas Shotter Boys – in the style of “Thomas Shotter Boys” The Joyous Band, colorful, people dancing on grass in striped pants

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Boys

Alphonse Mucha – in the style of Alphonse Mucha’s Art nouveau, finely drawn 1920s woman with pale pastel colors

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Alphonse Mucha

Interior Scenes Prompts for AI Art

Johannes Vermeer – interior room in the design of Johannes Vermeer, checkered floors

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Johannes Vermeer

Hubert Robert – interior room decor  in the style of Hubert Robert’s The Grand Gallery, multiple paintings hanging on the wall, ornate

Roberto Bompiani – in the style of Roberto Bompiani's A Roman Feast, good interior with fun light walls and curtains

AI Art Prompts in the style of Bompiani

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida – in the style of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida's Seville Acrylic Print, acrylic painting, interior, colorful

AI Art Prompt In The Style of Bastida

Nicolas Lancret – in the style of Nicolas Lancret's Dance In A Pavilion, ornate interior, people dancing, bright lighting

Light and Bright AI Art Prompts

Édgar Degas – in the style of Édgar Degas' Lowering the Curtain drawing, pastels, light and bright

AI Art Prompts in the style of Degas

Hieronomous Bosch – fantasy scene of a rock concert in the style of the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronomous Bosch, bright sunlight

Dark and Grungy

Michelangelo – in the style of Michelangelo's The Torment of Saint Anthony, dark and grungy, sea creatures, nautical

AI Art Prompts In the Style of Michelangelo

Samuel Palmer – outdoor festival in the style of Samuel Palmer's “A Hilly Scene”… ” dark and gloomy, moon, watercolor over black chalk

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Samuel Palmer

Colorful AI Art Prompts

Pablo Picasso – colorful cubist woman in the style of Pablo Picasso

AI Art Prompts In the Style of Picasso

James Ensor – class of girls ballet dancing in the style of James Ensor's Monteur de ballets vermeils et musicaux, circus core, pastels, colorful

AI Art Prompts In the style of Ensor

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – colorful abstract blobs in the style of Renoir's “Têtes, Arbres et Fruits”, watercolor

AI Art Prompts in the style of Renoir

Collage AI Art Prompts

Henri Matisse – colorful collage shapes based on the style of Henry Matisse's The Sheaf, Succession

AI Art Prompts in the Style of Matisse

Wassily Kandinsky – colorful collage on black background in the style of Wassily Kandinsky's Composition X, Color Study, Squares with Concentric Circles, colorful collage shapes

AI Collage Art Prompt in the style of Kandinsky

Gustav Klimt – collage in the style of gustav klimt's “Water Serpents II”, light and bright, shapes and patterns

AI Collage Art Prompt In the style of Klimt

John Bingley Garland – Collage of prints, metallic foil, watercolor in the style of John Bingley Garland

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Garland

AI Art Illustration Prompts

Gustave Dore – in the style of Gustave Dore's The Cat Kicking, line art pencil drawing, illustration, cat in a hat and clothing

Leonardo Da Vinci – technical drawings of steampunk inventions, in the style of Leonardo Da Vinci

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Da Vinci

Alexander Rodchenko – in the style of Alexander Rodchenko's “Please in all branches of knowledge”, graphic poster advertising pickles

Claude Gillot – steampunk pencil illustration of a cat with wings, in the style of Claude Gillot's “Garment time of night” (hyper-realistic mode)

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Gillot

Botanical AI Art Prompts

Jan van Kessel II – flower illustration, colorful and crisp, in the style of Jan van Kessel II's “Insects and fruits” (hyper-realistic mode)

AI Art Prompt based on style of Kessel

Vincent Van Gogh – pink Sunflowers botanical watercolor, in the style of Van Gogh

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Van Gogh

Claude Monet – purple flowers, pale, swirly, in the style of Monet's “Water Lillies”

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Monet

Johannes Janson – create a formal garden outside scene with patterns in the greenery, in the style of Johannes Janson, have pretty colorful flowers too

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Johannes Janson

Herman Saftleven – create a watercolor, botanical illustration of a bird of paradise, in the style of Herman Saftleven

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Herman Saftleven

Georg Dionysius Ehret – create a colored pencil drawing of a botanical illustration of a bird of paradise, in the style of Georg Dionysius Ehret

Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os – create a table in an entryway with a beautiful ornate colorful botanical flower arrangement in the style of Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os' work “Still life with roses, peonies, lilac, morning glories and other flowers”

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Georgius Jacobus Johannes van O

Henri Rousseau – create a watercolor painting, colorful tropical landscape garden scene in the style of Henri Rousseau's artwork, “The Equatorial Jungle”

AI Art Prompts in the Style of Henri Rousseau

Landscapes and Cities AI Art Prompts

Johann Georg von Dillis – create a watercolor and goache painting in the faded color style of Johann Georg von Dillis's “Look at Rome of the villa Melini”

AI Art Prompt In The Style of Johann Georg von Dillis

Hans Bol – create a wide landscape painting in the style of Hans Bol's “View of Amsterdam from the South”, gouache, watercolor

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Hans Bol

Pierre Bonnard – paint a garden in the style of Pierre Bonnard “Little Printable Garden” landscape, colorful blobs

Camille Pissarro – create an Impressionist painting in the style of the Camille Pissarro's Boulevard Montmartre, city at night

Jean-Baptiste Raguenet – create a beautiful light and bright city landscape in the style of Jean-Baptiste Raguenet's Le Quai et le Village de Passy, watercolor gouache

Hendrik Meyer – create a landscape scene with a a cute little cottage in the style of Hendrik Meyer' Farmhouse by a Stream, sunshiny day

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Hendrik Meyer

Joseph Mallord William Turner – create an overexposed surreal landscapes in light pale colors in the style of Oberwesel by Joseph Mallord William Turner, watercolor, gouache

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Joseph Mallord William Turner

Animal AI Art Prompts

Adriaen van de Venne – create a full figure drawing of an animal in a top hat and ornate clothing in the style of Adriaen van de Venne's painting “How Well We Go Together”

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Adriaen van de Venne

Hans Hoffmann – create a watercolor painting of a rabbit, lots of botanical greenery in the style of hans hoffman A Hare In The Forest

AI Art Prompts In The Style Of Hans Hoffman

Albrecht Dürer – create a black and white technical drawing of a dog in the style of Albrecht Dürer

Gustave Moreau – create a female goddess based on Gustave Moreau's Allegory of Fable, light and bright, flying on a griffin up in the air

AI Art Prompts In The Style of Gustave Moreau

Jacopo Ligozzi – create a watercolor painting of a bird in the style of Jacopo Ligozzi's Psittacus Ararauna

Nautical AI Art Prompts

John William Waterhouse – woman in front of portal in ornate clothes, nautical and ships in the porthole behind her in the style of John William Waterhouse's Destiny

AI Art Prompts In The Style of John William Waterhouse

Public Domain AI Art Prompts Wrapup

I hope this huge list of artists in the public domain that you can use for good prompts is a starting point to help you make art AND respect living artists whose work is protected by copyright and should not be used as prompt ideas!

As artificial intelligence grows and we get better at writing effective prompts, recognizing the source of digital art may become more and more difficult. But if we respect the creative process of living artists, we can use AI as a powerful tool for good rather than evil!

If you have any more suggestions for great styles for this post, please feel free to email me, tara (at) and let me know!

HUGE List of Artists In The Public Domain for AI Prompts