The World’s Oldest Paintings

Human beings have been creating art for tens of thousands of years. Cave paintings around the world have proven that we’ve always had a drive to create stills of the world around us, and often-times of our own thoughts and emotions. Since the dawn of civilisation, art has evolved countless times, with numerous artistic movements changing the nature of how we create.

While much has been lost to time, there are some pieces that have somehow managed to survive for thousands of years, often very much intact. With that in mind, these are among the oldest paintings ever discovered.

The House of Sallust

The ancient Romans loved creating art, and one of the oldest examples of this is a wall that can be found in the House of Sallust. Well, they were not as well-known for their art as for their buildings, they did manage to sometimes combine the two into something unique. The city of Pompeii was considered the central hub of art during the time of the Romans, a city that was obviously destroyed with the eruption of Vesuvius. Despite this, some pieces of art did remain, such as the famous House of Sallust wall art that can be visited to this day.

Woman From Knossos

Knossos is an island just outside of Greece that was once inhabited by the Minoans, who were considered one of the world’s first civilisations. They were known throughout the ancient world for their incredible creations of pottery, which they painted with a vast array of scenes and colours. The oldest recorded example can be traced back to almost 3000 years ago, with detail that was unmatched at the time. It features a woman, although not much is known about her origins, or if she was a real woman at all, and there’s yet any information discovered that points to the identity of the artist.

Tomb Of The Roaring Lions

This is the oldest Etruscan tomb ever discovered, which means that the art and treasures that were found within some of the most ancient in all of Europe. It’s believed that the tome was created around 690 BC, and archaeologists believe that it’s the final resting place of a warrior prince from the region. The painting in question consists of animals, and although they were initially thought to be lion, more modern investigations reveal that they’re more likely some kind of deer.


The Ancient Egyptians were among the greatest artists of the ancient world, with a civilisation that lasted for thousands of years. One of the most spectacular examples of their art is the Tomb of Hierakonpolis, which was first built during the pre-dynastic era of Egypt, over a millennia before even great Pharaohs as Tutankhamen, making for a great visit with travel money won from a day at the races. Historians believe that the piece was created over generations rather than all at once, which is part of the reason it’s much larger than other pieces of art in the same area.

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