Tobacco label with girl clad in white, flying through colorful sky on large bat.
This colorful public domain tobacco label comes from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. The subject is Ariel, who is portrayed as a beautiful maiden with long flowing blond hair and a garland of flowers around her waist. She is clad in a wind-swept sheer white dress and is riding on an obscenely large bat.
It is likely that the Ariel portrayed in this image is taken from William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, in which Ariel is an airy sprite who serves the magician Prospero. In Shakespeare’s manuscript, Ariel is a male figure, but during the nineteenth century, the role was primarily played by women.
This advertisement was published in 1869. Because of this pre-1923 publication date this image is in the public domain.
4 megabyte TIFF. Hosted at the Library of Congress.