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What Is Steampunk Art?

9 min read

We have covered this topic for many facets of futuristic real art:
  • Steampunk Movies, with our Top 20.
  • Steampunk & Victorian Literature.
  • Steampunk Music.

Each Steampunk Art has its own specific article. Today we are going to talk about 3 of the major Arts that are architecture, painting and sculpture.

Steampunk Architecture


Steampunk Architecture is an alternative version of the Victorian era where the industrial revolution modified the old world with new practices. The grandiloquent, the big structures and even the fantastic are mixed to create the difices in this so particular Victorian style. The materials are therefore metals (copper, brass, bronze, steel), wood, glass with impressive industrial frames. Often there is a romantic and nostalgic influence or sometimes the codes of the gothic mingle with its dark and mysterious universe.

We can easily imagine this very visual style with strong images present in the collective imagination as the big factories, the big glassworks sometimes gigantic (as the Grand Palais). We are entitled to realizations that seem to come out of the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

During the Victorian era, the great availability of water and, later, steam engines made the manufacture of architectural details much less demanding in terms of labor than before. Creative ornamental details no longer required the skills of a woodcarver, carpenter or stonemason, and many architectural elements could be made in a factory and ordered from a catalog. In fact, architectural ornamentation became so inexpensive that many house styles in the United States are known for their overabundance of detailing. Even industrial spaces have been built with ornamentation.

Some examples of Steampunk Architecture?

Here is an example of a modest house. Well, maybe not so humble. The Carson Mansion in Eureka, California was built by William Carson, the owner of a local lumber company. It took four years to build, for a total cost of $80,000 (I guess lumber is cheap if you own the mill...) It is generally considered to be in the Queen Anne style, although if you look, you can find elements of several other Victorian styles. Unfortunately, it currently houses a private club and it is impossible to visit the interior.

Carson Mansion left / Armour-Stiner House right

A slightly simpler, but no less fanciful house is the Armour-Stiner House in Irvington, New York. This house follows a short-lived craze, in the 1850s, for octagonal houses, which offer the advantage of limiting a larger surface for a given length of perimeter wall, and the inconvenience of oddly shaped rooms. Built in 1850, it has a veranda that completely surrounds the house. In the 1870s, the second owner added the dome and the cupola, following the octagonal pattern. The dome is also decorated with interesting slate tiles, a detail that exists only to be decorative.

Industrially, the Victorians attempted to make even the most mundane building interesting. Once London finally had a functioning sewage system, raw sewage no longer flowed from open ditches directly into the Thames. No, it was now collected in an efficient system of pipes and tunnels and directed over 20 km downstream where it was then discharged into the Thames. But the gradient was so gradual that pumping stations were needed to discharge the wastewater a good distance from the capital. The Crossness Pumping Station was opened in 1865 and was called "a Victorian iron cathedral". Fortunately, when it finally closed in the 1950s, it was not economical to remove the pumps, so they remained forgotten and intact, pending the renovation of the site that began in the 1980s and continues. Apparently, part of Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey version) was filmed here. Now that I know that, I'll have to watch it again and look for ornate ironwork in the background.

The steampunk building that perhaps holds the record for film locations is the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles. I must admit that Los Angeles and Victorian architecture don't seem to go together in my mind, but apparently I'm wrong. The Bradbury Building was built as an office building in 1893. It has a central atrium topped by a skylight. Ornate cast-iron railings surround the atrium, which extends over five floors. Elevators, the old kind of "birdcage", still take people up to the upper floors. The building has been used as a film and TV location since the 1950s, notably in Blade Runner (the building where JF Sebastian lives), but also for films ranging from D.O.A. The Artist, and too many TV shows to mention.

Steampunk painting and visual arts.

The influence of steampunk style is obvious. Many of the works, which often do not even call themselves futuristic, incorporate a multitude of objects and concepts that come close.

Pete Amachree.

Want a Steampunk or post-apocalyptic world where nature has reclaimed the Earth? Pete Amachree really knows how to create beautiful concept art. His renderings are really well done and beautiful.

"There is something I find incredibly fascinating about painting in these vast, imposing, seemingly Victorian cityscapes. Maybe it's a mental disorder that I should seek treatment for. But for the last ten years or so, if I have a choice, that's what I'll probably end up painting."

Pete Amachree is a concept and texture artist in the film and games industry. Living in the UK, he has worked for Cinesite, a visual effects company as a texture artist and digital matte painter. He has held the positions of designer and texturist at Lionhead Studios for the video game Fable, and Leading Light Conceptual Design. Pete Amachree has contributed to film projects as a texture and digital matte painter for John Carter, among others.


"I recently watched Empire of the Seas on the BBC. A fantastic series on the history of the British Navy, from the Tudor era to the present. This picture was inspired by the episode that focused on the 18th century, and the many wars of Britain with France and Spain. So here we have Admiral George Anson exposing his grand strategy with senior naval commanders at Navy HQ Greenwich.

An artist to follow on ArtStation

Didier Graffet

Cocorico, a French artist well known to the ricocheters and vapourists around here. Although his favorite themes are very steampunk, the author does not claim to be a steampunk artist but rather inspired by imaginary landscapes of all kinds.

With a career spanning more than 20 years, he has contributed to a number of magazine covers among others. He has produced paintings and books such as Effluvium or Steampunk: Of Steam and Steel. I have the whole collection of Jules Verne's classics that he also illustrated. An artist has covered if not done, you can read an interesting interview or go to the Bragelonne publishing house to learn more.

Jakub Rozalski

j. Rozalski, a native of Krakow, Poland, is inspired by classical paintings and modern techniques as well as a healthy dose of imagination. Jakub creates the most fantastic landscapes that have even inspired a board game; The most important thing in my work is always to create a unique atmosphere through stories, showing everyday situations in an unusual environment".

"I have been painting and drawing since I can remember. The choice of artistic studies was the natural order of things. I have an artistic education and training. However, I learned most of my skills by studying my favorite artists (and their paintings) such as Shishkin, Chelmonski or Brandt."

The artist took his first steps on canvas and paper long before covering digital design. His works have the look of classical paintings with some modern techniques. Jakub has experimented with style and technique to achieve a blend of impressionism and realism that suits him perfectly. Through his work, he tries to combine classic style, modern design and interesting concepts.

"For me, the most important thing in my work is to always create a unique atmosphere by telling stories, showing everyday situations in an unusual environment. I like more discreet colors, more discreet, as well as more static compositions. I don't know why, I never thought about it. I just paint the way I feel and like it. It's probably a reflection of my own nature, what I like and what interests me. I like wild environments, open spaces, discreet and natural colors, winter, wild animals... werewolves :p. History and ancient beliefs are my great passion. They are a great source of inspiration for me and have a great influence on my work."

You can see more of J. Rozalsky's work on ArtStation.114)

kazuhiko nakamura

Kazuhiko Nakamura was born in Hyogo, Japan in 1961. He was influenced by Surrealism and cyberpunk art styles in his youth, and began to study and learn about the ins and outs of 3D digital art.

Using his free time to do so, his practice snowballed into amazing works. In 2004, his art was featured on major computer graphics art sites. Since then, Kazuhiko has received positive appreciation from other artists and his fans. One critic said, "Kazuhiko Nakamura's art is an over-engineered hybrid of man and machine, an uneasy marriage between metal and flesh. Enjoy!

Alan Moore

Alan Moore was and will be for a long time to come the king of the dark and nerdy comic book. The pioneer of the serious superhero retired having transformed the genre after 40 years of building the superhero arch.

His singular and titanic career ends with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, his latest contribution to an art form that he has completely transformed, sometimes to his chagrin. His work in the 1980s on Miracleman, a construction of the superhero mythos, inspired so many imitators to darken heroes once suitable for children that Moore has apologized for it more than once.

But his greatest contribution to English-language letters is not in the age of "maturity" at DC-a term that Moore says was coined to allow adults to "validate their continued love of Batman or Superman without seeming somehow emotionally retarded. Moore's non-superhero efforts, such as From Hell, Lost Girls and A Small Joke, are often cited as evidence of his literary worth. The script and each character is masterfully chiseled, not to mention the artistic aspect of its plates of a darkness and beauty totally immersive. 

Moore would be the first to tell you that seriousness is not always a virtue, but his was profoundly transformative. And for many readers, including myself, it was a great relief to be taken in as a reader of something supposedly sub-literate and stupid, to be treated with intelligence and care, and to be introduced to Moore's rebellious morality: his passionate fervor, his suspicion of authority and wealth, his love of normal people and his desire for unity, especially in the face of the desperation of the real world. His gifts for cruelty and horror inspired undistinguished competitors to enter the field, but it was his unexpected gentleness that brought readers back into his fold.

Steampunk Sculpture

Hasan Novrozi

Hasan Novrozi, a talented sculptor trained in Iran, has created a wonderful collection of steampunk animal sculptures that are full of life and motion, despite the fact that they are not the only ones; They are full of life and emotion, despite the fact that they are painstakingly assembled from thousands of metal parts, automotive components and other scrap metal.

In addition to his spiky statue of P&eacute, he has also created other creations in a variety of styles, all of which are stunning!


His heavier welded animal sculptures remind us of those magical animal sculptures by Ellen Jewett, while his steampunk base reminds us of those life-like steampunk animal sculptures by Igor Verniy.

Novrozi also sculpts with clay and other materials, check out his Facebook to learn more.

Igor Verny

An artist who creates steampunk animals from parts of old cars, watches and electronic devices. When working with metal, it takes a true master to bring his work to life.

"Don't childishly recreate unattainable things, because that always pushes people forward"

Russian artist Igor Verny does just that with his beautiful and eye-catching articulated steampunk animal sculptures. Their moving parts and Verny's attention to detail make them come alive.

"Basically, I am an artist, and I see the beauty of this world in bright colors, but I am also a technician. The combination of these two qualities has led to the creation of metal models."

A lot of work is done behind the scenes before Verny creates his works. He observes the living specimens of his creations to make sure he captures their movements. Then he assembles them from various pieces of scrap metal - old car parts, car parts, clockwork, dishes and anything else he can find to form a unique work.

"I am inspired by the outside world, especially biology and the question of the origin of life. and all the natural sciences, and ruminations on the future of human civilization"

"A lot of people bring me old objects that I can tinker with in my store, but I also buy a lot of objects in flea markets and collect them in the garages of my brothers and friends. All the pieces are categorized."

You can follow Igor on his Facebook

Sue Beatrice

Check out Sue Beatrice's steampunk sculptures and art, made entirely of recycled watch parts. These beautiful steampunk art sculptures are part of the All Natural Arts project, created by American artist and designer Sue Beatrice.

The project includes sculpting, painting and making environmentally friendly jewelry. This unique art combines talent and imagination with a love of nature. Susan's art collection also includes glass, stone and other natural jewelry as well as antique jewelry.

Entirely made from watch parts, with the exception of the square silver wire "ribbon" and the guitar string hair. None of the pieces were cut or drilled, they were used as is.

A stunning artist who has created some beautiful pieces. Read more about him on his website and store.

Here you go dear reader, I hope the article made you discover some steampunk artists that you won't forget so soon. Go and see their sites, they are worth the trip !


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