Tomb Raider Art Encyclopendia Wiki

The obscura paintings (and engravings) played a big key role in Tomb Raider - Angel of darkness. In this special I am analysing the original pictures behind the obscura painting. This was a favor asked by Dragooncroft.

So enjoy!

Painting 1; an angel with a sword overlooking a forest[]

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The angel with the sword[]

The angel with sword came from another painting. Found it on the internet. The artist is Hans Memling (1430-1494), the painting is called Angel with sword. Interesting fact is that the wings of angel replaced with an open wing. Maybe the angel must represent the Nephilim, the obsession of Eckhard.

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The castle[]

The castle looks like it was mirrored, like some of the pictures in Angel Of Darkness. A painting of the Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berryfrom the month June was used in it. See my arty-farty red lines in the picture beneath what I think they copied in it.

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The forest with the dogs[]

The forest and the dogs are copied from another piece of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. This time the month December.

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Dead king, skeletons and horse[]

But if you look close (the last picture you saw) you’ll see that the dogs feeding with a corpse not show on the Très Riches. (etc.). There is also a dead king with mantle and a skeleton with a hourglass. A horse with a skeleton on top biting a woman. These does not fit in the picture. These scenes came from a painting of Pieter Bruegel, the Elder called: The Triumph of the Dead, and shows us scenes of the bubonic plague. On the bottom-left corner you see the king with the skeleton and somewhat above the hungry horse with the skeleton on top.

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Painting 2; castle with knights and horses[]

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The knights and horses[]

The bottom of the painting with the knights and horses came from The battle of Inab created by Jean Colombe and Sebastien Momerot made in the 14th century.

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Church in the background[]

Found the church in de background, yeey! It is the same picture as in obscura painting nr 1. Called Triumph of the dead by Pieter Bruegel, the elder.

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Painting 3; burning castle and angels with knights[]

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The burning castle[]

The burning castle came from a painting from Jheronimus Bosch (1450-1516). Now on display at the Escorial. The painting is called: the hay wagon made in between 1510 and 1520.

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The landscape[]

The landscape the picture came from Triump of the dead by Pieter Bruegel the Elder as featured in my past reviews.. See the blue square for the part that Core Design used.

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The knights and the fallen angels[]

At the lower part of the Obscura painting you see a knight that hunts on men with red clothes. I think they represent fallen angels. I could not find this on the internet.

Painting 4; dead figure and woman holding a book[]

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Underneath the paining is text written: Limoux and Vasily. Together the formed the initials “L” and “V” which stands for Lux Veritatis. The word “Limoux” we see one time in the game in the Vault of Trophies. It is also a city in the southern of France and famous for their sparkling wine. The word “Vasily” is a Slavic male given name of Greek origin and corresponds to Basil. I think it is one of the ancestors of Mathias Vasily in Prague. In the Vault of the Trophies a sign says: “The brothers united…”. It could be natural brothers (Limoux and Vasily) as in a family or people who are “brothers” leaders of a gang called Lux Veritatis. Maybe Karel was shapeshifted into Limoux as he was depicted here as a skeleton. You never know.


One important feature of this picture is the men holding a book with on the cover a smaller version of the skeleton and the men, which are holding a book etc. This effect is called “droste effect” or the “Mise and Abyme” effect.

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The effect is named for a Dutch brand of cocoa, with an image designed by Jan Misset in 1904, displayed a nurse carrying a serving tray with a cup of hot chocolate and a box with the same image

The woman[]

For the woman reference in the Painting, check out Jean Fouquet’s Virgin Surrounded by Angels (ca. 1450). I think they took the crowned head and neck from this model. (Information from @PositivelyAmazonian).

800px-Madonna omringd door serafijnen en cherubijnen, Jean Fouquet, (1454-1456), Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, 132.jpg

From here.

The death figure[]

And for the Death figure, check out the series of Death and The Maiden specially by Hans Baldung Grien. I think that’s the reference, too. You can see actually the figure of the old lady and the little girl next to the maiden which are literally copied into the very Obscura Painting, too. They just replaced the maiden with a sinister figure with the head of Fouquet’s Madonna and another body. Holding the Painting, miniature version. (Information from @PositivelyAmazonian).

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And I think the body is essentially pre-Raphaelist. Coming from an Evelyn De Morgan or Gabriel Dante Rosetti’s paintings, actually. (Information from @PositivelyAmazonian).

Painting 5; God and his angels in the sky[]

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(Image from Tomb of Ash)

Plowing the earth[]

Underneath the image there is ox with a plow. This came from the Les Très Riches Heures du duc the Berry it shows the month march.

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Red angels[]

I couldn't find these red angels and the landscape. If somebody know, leave a comment.