Mysteries of the Overlook Hotel


If you want to help me on my quest to identify every last artwork in the film, here’s a little grid to show you what’s left to be done. The introduction to the art section follows the list of my best guesses for each piece.

Update: I’ve since ID’s the pieces at I6, DEFG4, and DE56. None were what I thought they were.

There remains about 25 paintings left to get (not counting the boiler room nudes, at C-6), and as you’ll read throughout this page, I have good guesses for a great many of them. That said, my guesses and hunches are almost never correct. Or, at least, they’re rarely correct when I’m trying to logic my way to the answer (ie. it must be by the group of seven, because look at all the other group of seven pieces in this area!). So, since we’ll be covering my hunches in the ensuing analysis, I’ll just say what the colour boxes mean in the above graphic:

  • Red box = painting only seen on a sharp angle.
  • Green box = painting (or album cover, in the case of B2) never seen unobscured by something else
  • Yellow box = different views of the same art piece
  • Purple box = painting only ever seen terribly out of focus
  • A3 – Lang Shining (aka Giuseppe Castigliano)
  • B1 (left) – Charles Tunnicliffe (or JF Lansdowne, or Larry Hayden)
  • B1 (right) – Not sure. Possibly not an artwork. Possibly a cartoon drawing.
  • B5 – Looks like a parody of William Blake’s painting of Jacob’s Ladder
  • B7 – Not sure. Could be a Teddy Bear’s Picnic reference.
  • C1 – Edwin Megargee or John James Audubon
  • C567 – A series of nudes in the boiler room. Could just be pornography.
  • D1 – Charles Tunnicliffe painting of mallards standing on ice near frosty reeds.
  • DE2 – Obscure Group of Seven landscapes
  • D7 – John Gould painting of hummingbirds
  • E7 – JF Landowne painting of plovers
  • F1 – Some kind of shadow blob. Could be a bucking bronco. Could be a lot of things.
  • F2 – AY Jackson painting of snowy cabins near Baie St. Paul
  • F3 – Orestes de Grandmaison painting of lone horse on snowy hill
  • G1 – William Holbrook Beard or Robert Ingpen painting/drawing of dancing bears
  • G3 – School of Posillipo painitng of the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius
  • G6 – John Abbett paintings of a German Shepherd/Alsatian and Springer Spaniel
  • G7 – Doris McCarthy painting of an iceberg or mountain near the North Pole
  • H1/I1 – Derwentwater Designs knitting of butterflies in a garden scene
  • H67 – Thomas Eakins or Napoleone Grady portrait of a young woman in profile, or a portrait of one of the Dutch Maurice of Orange
  • I4 – Franklin Carmichael painting of a bay of islands
  • J1 – Hugh Monahan painting of three geese flying over reedy waters
  • J67 – Renaissance-style study of three pairs of eyes and mouths
  • K1 – Derwentwater, England painted by Roland Stead
  • K2 – Mont St. Michel or Mt. Fuji
  • K4 – Sketch of a wolf or branch being ridden or perched on by something


I want to start this section with a note about its formation, which, until the last mystery pieces can be identified, is ongoing.

IDing the art in the film was one of the first things I realized would be necessary to gaining a deeper appreciation of Kubrick’s buried message(s), but it was only with my tireless eye and probably hundreds of hours of internet image searches that I’ve arrived at the point I’m at, with almost 300 positive IDs (paintings, books, brands, etc.), and another couple dozen best guesses, with only around 30 items to name. I spaced these efforts out, to make time for all the other analyses you’ve been reading on the site. But that’s meant that certain discoveries were made well after analyses were written that might’ve benefitted from the insight.

In fact, I recently re-edited the mirrorform (the only analysis I’ve edited three times), and from all the discoveries I’d made in the five interceding months, the word count jumped up 20000 words. I don’t know how many discoveries I actually made in those months, but 40 more would probably recommend a site-wide final edit (in fact, I have made several IDs since that last edit of the mirrorform, and have performed the entire mirrorform analysis of those pieces here, for the sake of simplicity).

Part of what slowed my IDing process was my initial assumption that the majority of the art would be by Canadian artists, since the bulk of my initial IDs were Canadian.

The blue hoops here represent pieces I haven’t ID’d or pieces where I’m not 100% about being right about the ID. For the record, the two Canadian ones are the ones I’m more sure of. But as far as I know at this point, the lobby only features art by Canadians, Germans and the Dutch.

Now I know that there are a good many American and European artists to name, and that’s caused me to wonder if this wasn’t something of the point: that aficionados from around the globe would have to come together to ever get everything. Since realizing that, it’s occurred to me that there might be some meaning in the way art pieces are arranged in the various areas of the hotel, like how Hallorann’s murder is witnessed exclusively by Canadian art. But with the vast majority of pieces being North American and European, I think it’s likely, simply, to do with the world wars. I made a couple maps of the different areas to show which nationalities appear on which walls but a more complete account would be more useful, I suspect.

I grafted Juli Kearns’ map of room 237 on to the bottom of the lounge map from Redrum: The Shining II. Again, the blue hoops mark unidentified and uncertain pieces. The three blue hoops on the left are much more certain than the others, for the record.

After rigourous debate (with myself), I decided to present all the art by the order it appears within the film (excepting the music, which is largely by one composer). I felt this was the best way to allow this analysis, if read from start to finish, to function as all the other analyses do, guiding you through the observations as you move through the movie.

And now, please enjoy the labyrinth-within-a-labyrinth that is the artworks of The Shining.

First art reference: The Solemn Land