Original 'Stick-Man' from Led Zeppelin album cover is identified 52 years after its release – and it's a photo, not a painting!

COver image of the led zeppelin album IV
(Image credit: Wiltshire Museum | Devizes)

Led Zeppelin IV, released by the legendary rock band in 1971, featured some of the group's most famous tracks such as Stairway to Heaven and Black Dog. The cover of the album is iconic, too, featuring what was presumed to be a painting of an older gentleman hauling a pile of sticks on his back, while also using a stick as a walking aid.

It was believed by fans to be a photograph of an old painting that lead singer Robert Plant found in an antique shop near his home in Berkshire, England. That was until Brian Edwards, from the University of the West of England (UWE), found the original photograph while researching archive imagery for another project. 

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Kalum Carter
Staff Writer

Kalum Carter is a photographer, photo editor and writer based in the UK, and for almost a decade he has worked with brands and publications to create, edit, and sequence imagery. Having recently graduated with a Master's Degree in Photography from the University of the West of England (UWE), Kalum joined Digital Camera World as a Staff Writer, covering news, reviews, and his biggest passion – photography books! 

Kalum's photography has been published and exhibited around the world, and he continues to photograph on a project-by-project basis. He is currently working on a personal project capturing the people and landscape of Gower, South Wales. Currently untitled, this body of work will be exhibited for the National Trust later this year.