Art is a subjective endeavor that compasses a tangible and a transient form of portraying mimesis, emotion, expression, and everything else that goes unsaid. Paintings in Dark Souls have always been a portal to another world. This element resides in Dark Souls 3 if you purchase the Ashes of Ariandel DLC; you will be transported to a new world after touching a small fragment of a painting. Before the Ashes of Ariandel DLC, there were several paintings scattered throughout the world for players to find. Art imitates life even in the Dark Souls universe.
Gwynevere from Dark Souls
Art View: We have a noble aristocrat woman dressed in a lavish attire of whites and gold. Most of it is fuzzy to the eye except her face. It’s shown as a relaxing, gentle, and inviting aura around her. She looks like she would welcome you quite nicely and even understand the trek and trials you have undergone.
Dark Souls View: We know this lady is Gwynevere from Dark Souls 1 after we beat Ornstein and Smough. In this painting she looks smaller, or should I say more humanlike, since in game she was like a God compared to us. She was enormous even laying, we can see we are like ants compared to her. A great painting of a fictional character whose form is also non real; the Gwynevere we meet in game is actually an illusion.
Anor Londo from Dark Souls
Art View: We see a worn painting of a grandiose towering city with towering buildings. The source of light is very minimal allowing you to see the background elements more than the foreground. You can barely see the long diagonal catwalk near the 3 dark towers leading up to the rafters above the painted world.
Dark Souls View: We know this place to be Anor Londo, home of Lordan’s last dieties and the powerful Lordvessel. Full of false light portraying itself as a sunny version of itself, while the real Anor Londo is dark and dreary, completely devoid of light.
Brume Tower Throne from Dark Souls 2
Art View: A painting that has not age well, filled with cracks and background erosion depicting a lone throne. The sheer size of it trumps our frail existence whilst speculating who is the mighty person who occupied it. The white contrast on the seat of the throne and on the base of it, makes it stand out more than the old worn background. The white could be some sort of artificial light or some sort of translucent sediment.
Dark Souls View: This throne used to belong to the Iron King, master of giving life to artificial beings. He used to be obsessed with power and riches, making his castle poignantly lavish to the point of excess. This throne is the only thing to remain. The Iron King is yet another character we never truly meet; like life and the people that came before us, we only know stories of who they were. We come to this mighty king’s land too late and only see the ashes of something that was once great, like the rise and demise of everything Dark Souls.
Nashandra from Dark souls 2
Art View: This highly eroded painting showcases a majestic blonde woman with rosy cheeks and a soft, almost peaceful demeanor. Her attire, like Gwynevere, is all white with yellow or gold trims/decor. Based on how she is dressed, she would be a noble woman or the wife of a King.
Dark Souls View: This blond beauty is none other than Queen Nashandra, wife to King Vendrick, and the main antagonist of Dark Souls 2. This beauty is rivaled by her lust for power and her inner darkness; she set the motions for Vendrick to invade the Giants’ land. It wasn’t until late that Vendrick could fully see the error of his ways and the veil that Nashandra had over him.
Unconfirmed Church Building from Dark Souls 3
Art View: This highly darken building almost lost in the darkness, perched on lofty ground. Unfortunately, the heavy dark tones in the paintings engulfs most of the architecture and foreground.
Dark Souls View: This work of art is hard to confirm what exactly it depicts. The painting could be depicting the Cathedral of the Deep or a similar church-esque building.
Frigid Landscape from Dark Souls 3
Art View: We have a frozen landscape depicting several ice covered buildings and darken figure in the middle. The artists choice of light source makes the painting have a subtle depth to it as it reveals just a bit more of the smaller details.
Dark Souls View: This painting depicts an environment similar to Boreal Valley and Anor Londo in Dark Souls 3. With the release of of Ashes of Ariandel, perhaps this is Ariandel chapel that we see in the back. Yet another church like building in another remote location.
Ascended Winged Knight from Dark Souls 3
Art View: A stunning knight is depicted in a lofty fashion. He’s wielding his instrument of war ready for engagement. It looks like this knight has spouted wings and has a sublime air engulfing him.
Dark Souls View: An Ascended Winged Knight is depicted in this hidden painting located in Lothric Castle. We know his weapon of choice will be a halberd, along with his knowledge of holy spells.
Unconfirmed Female Subject
Art View: Dozens of similar paintings of a woman in similar poses. Most of them have a crack in the top right corner that continues onto the face. It’s difficult to say if she is the object of someone’s obsessed or passionate eye. Typically portraits were made for familiar remembrance or made for the powerful ones.
Dark Souls View: Residing in Ariandel’s Chapel amidst the Ashes of Ariandel DLC, we locate paintings of a seemingly humble female. Unfortunately we never truly learn the identity of this woman whose portraits line the walls and ground of Ariandel’s Chapel.
Human habits makes wonders too familiar, thus making life more hollow. There is wonder and amazement scattered in life and it is up to us to search for them with love.