70+ Insightful Retro And Historic Artworks Around The World

When one speaks of retro art, images of art styles derived from advertising and propaganda posters from 1930s to 1960s usually flood the mind. The simple graphics made from oil paints reflect the less advanced technology of that time. This period is also a time of significant turbulence in our modern history, when major events such as the rise of communism and World Wars were taking ground.

It is then not surprising that many posters serve as propaganda tools for the ruling governments. These propaganda images eventually contributed to the development of different retro art styles.

Many of the following retro art pieces that you will see are actual posters produced during those time. We’ve searched a couple of sources to compile a great list of retro art styles comprising not only of propaganda art pieces, but also a few other kind such as advertising posters. In addition, we have separated these pieces into two main categories, Western and Chinese retro art. Full list after jump.

The West: Retro Posters from the West

Here we have Soviet posters during the rise of communism as well as propaganda posters during World War II. There are also some miscellaneous ones like film and product ads, along with some retro-inspired art.

This is the Enemy

Guns of Russia

We’ve Beaten Them Before

Eyes of the Home Skies

Unwilling Volunteers

We Can Do It

Here They Come!

The Soviet Regime

The Power of Propaganda: Wartime Posters

Syd Mead Concept Design for US Steel

Say Yes! to Analog Design

Soviet Flag Over the Reichstag

Retro Never Dies

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Jantzen Swimsuit 1949

Le Facteur ATC



Glory To Our Army

I Wake Up Screaming 1941


You Behave!

People and Army are One!

We Will Not Allow This to Happen Again!

Smoke Cigarettes

Great Stalin is A Flag of the USSR’s Friendship

Everything for the Victory – Women of USSR for the Front

Motherland is Calling!

To Defend USSR

Liberated woman – Build Up Socialism!


Beatles Badge


1953 Advertising Calendar for Hotpoint Appliances


1924 Lenin Poster


1940 Stalin

The East: The Chinese Art of Propaganda

As a result of over 5,000 years of China’s history and culture, Chinese art has always been uniquely different from the West. Here you will see how traditonal Chinese art evolved into retro art that still maintains its distinct culture while incorporating Western art elements to spread communism.


Mao is Always Right

Revolutionary Committees are Good

The Working Class is the Main Force in the Campaign

Win Honor for Our Great Leader Chairman Mao

Sharpening the Knife

Down with the Capitalist

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army

Learn from the Spirit of Daqing

We’ll Definitely Beat the World Record


Chairman Mao

Develop New Mountain Areas

An Eye for an Eye

Our Victory is Certain

Down with American and Soviet

The Chinese People are Not Easily Humiliated

The Revolutionary Movement

Smash the Old World; Establish the New World

Great Victory

Gutian Conference

Endless Production

Brilliant Light of the Red Sun

Chairman Hua

Chairman Mao

Double Happiness

Learn Science From Young

I Love the Blue Sky of Motherland

Military Spirit

Film Poster: Home

Film Poster: Beyond the Sea

Art Comes From Life’s Struggles

United As One People

These propaganda artworks were collected from Life.com, Flickr, Crestock, kaladarshan, Chinese Poster Online and other websites.

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