[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/KathyRain http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/concealing_canvas.jpg]]]]

Somebody's hidden a safe, or other valuable object, behind a painting on the wall. In a common joke, the safe is hidden behind a painting of a safe.

To be fair, a painting is probably the easiest object to hide a safe behind; on the other hand, behind a painting is consequently the most obvious place to look for a safe. People rarely seem to consider installing safes behind other common objects hanging on walls, such as mirrors or tapestries.

Sometimes the painting will suggest the presence of the safe, the nature of the valuables or perhaps even be a clue to the safe's code.

This is ridiculously common in InteractiveFiction and {{Point And Click Game}}s.




[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11123742/13/The-Vanishing-Cabinet-Of-Time The Vanishing Cabinet of Time]]'' Dumbledore kept his old wand in a safe behind a portrait of the previous Headmaster.
* A sidestory of ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'' reveals that Giovanni has a safe in his office, hidden behind a portrait of himself and his Persian. Inside he stashes many items that might not see the light of day in a long time, but are too valuable to destroy.
* ''Fanfic/RobbReturns'': Behind a tapestry in Ned's own solar, right under his nose, there is a hidden door that leads to a whole room of secrets, including the Fist of Winter and the relic that triggers the Call.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10449282/9/Oh-Hell-No Oh Hell No]]'' Madame Bones has a safe which is invisible unless you "open" the painting in front of it as if it were a door.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10766595/34/Harry-Potter-Three-to-Backstep Harry Potter - Three to Backstep]]'' Potter Retreat has a safe with a "door" painting which can only be opened by pressing the Head of House ring into an indentation at the bottom of the frame.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}'': Red Puckett retrieves her Granny's recipe book from a safe concealed behind a portrait of (a person who is implied to be) her grandfather. It's very possible that she knows the bandit might guess the safe's location.
* Franchise/WallaceAndGromit had this in ''Film/TheWrongTrousers''. Wallace hides his piggy bank in a safe behind a picture of a piggy bank.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
%%* Biff's office in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII''.
%%* ''Film/{{Entrapment}}'' does this.
%%* ''Film/JamesBond'':
%%** ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' also does this.
* ''Film/{{Thunderball}}'' has a secret map behind a painting, showing top secret locations.
* There's a safe behind a painting of Hitler in the movie ''Film/{{Valkyrie}}''.
* ''Film/KindHeartsAndCoronets'': Louis Mazzini's family tree, on which he records who he has to kill to become Duke, is taped to the back of a painting.
* ''Film/SherlockHolmes''. Sherlock quickly checks the safe behind his painting is still locked after waking up to find [[FemmeFatale Irene Adler]] in the room.
* ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' has a double-ended safe behind two paintings.
* Discussed in the 1972 film adaptation of ''Theatre/{{Sleuth}}''. When looking for the safe, Milo dismisses the painting of Andrew's wife as the hiding place as he has [[GenreSavvy seen it too often on TV]].
* In ''Film/TheCobbler'', one of the baddies has a safe behind his bathroom mirror where he stores precious watches.
* ''Film/HudsonHawk''. The auction house Eddie and Tommy break into hides its safe behind a large painting. The safe holds the "Sforza", the horse statuette that they're there to steal.

* The first ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' plays with this: it has a safe hidden behind a painting... which is a decoy for the safe built into the frame of the painting.
* In typical Creator/FrederickForsyth [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal fashion]], ''Literature/TheFourthProtocol'' meticulously details the locating and destruction of a safe hidden behind a painting.
* In ''Literature/TheThreeInvestigators'' volume ''The Case of the Weeping Coffin'', the eccentric millionaire's house is littered with these, to the point that the curtain that doesn't conceal a safe is interesting.
* In [[{{Novelization}} the novelization]] of Creator/DCComics' ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}'' story, there's a safe behind a painting in one of Wayne's offices. The safe is actually just another layer of distraction to protect the real secret: the spare Batman costume folded up in the picture frame.
* ''Literature/TheExecutioner''. In "Terminal Velocity", Mack Bolan breaks into a safe hidden in the office of a KGB honcho, but thanks to a continuity error it changes from a picture of Lenin to one of Brezhnev, then back again.

* In season 3 of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', [[spoiler:a stolen formula is hidden behind the Mona Lisa]].
* An episode of ''Series/TheMonkees'' had a safe, behind a painting of a safe, behind a painting. That is, the "regular" painting was removed from the wall to show a painting of a safe, which was removed to show a real safe.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Ben Linus keeps all his information on Charles Widmore in a wall safe behind a painting.
* On ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', we learn Hardison has hidden large quantities of cash inside the frame of his painting of Harlan Leverage III (AKA Old Nate).
* Played with on ''Series/BurnNotice''.
** In one episode, an art dealer has hung a stolen painting on the wall and covered it with another, larger, painting.
** In another, an assassin hides a disc of sensitive data ''inside'' the wall - concealing the hiding place with a layer of plaster.
** In a few episodes it's noted that it's foolish to hide things in those places and suggested that the best places to hide small things of value are behind door hinges (unscrewed and hollowed out) and that the best places to hide bugs are behind receptacle covers because no one looks there and there is a steady source of power.
* ''Series/{{Batman}}''.
** In the episode "The Duo is Slumming" the plans for an airplane are in a wall safe concealed by a painting.
** In the episodes "That Darn Catwoman" and "Flop Goes The Joker", stately Wayne Manor has a wall safe hidden behind a painting.
* At least once in ''Series/{{Alias}}'': Vaughn goes to Virginia to his wife's mother's house and has to steal a code. The code is in a safe on the wall behind a painting, and the painting even has hinges on the right side attaching it to the wall and facilitating access to the safe.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' had variations on this from time to time. In "The War Games," for example, a painting in the World War I general's quarters concealed his SIDRAT (a knockoff TARDIS) controls. In "The Five Doctors", a door could only be opened by playing a tune on Rassilon's harp. A nearby painting of Rassilon playing that harp showed the tune.
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', Cole hides a safe behind a portrait in his penthouse apartment when he's [[spoiler:the [[BigBad Source]].]] It doesn't have anything in it except a [[DeadManWriting posthumous]] note to his wife, though.
* Interestingly inverted on ''Series/{{Hustle}}''. Their mark had stolen a new security system that was effectively unbeatable and was now marketing it by offering to secure a painting and cover the theft liability without insurance. Because the system couldn't be defeated due to being sewn into the painting itself, they build a false wall in front of it to avoid detection and blackmail the mark with his "stolen" painting due to the fact that the mark would be liable for the multimillion quid cost.
* Invoked in "The Frame" from the original ''Series/MissionImpossible'': The team is assigned to stop the rise to power of a murderous Syndicate crime boss. They infiltrate during a big gathering of other bosses. [[spoiler:One of the things they do is to install a small round wall safe behind a painting in his bedroom, while at the same time raiding ''his'' safe.]]
* ''Series/{{UFO}}'' episode "Exposed". Paul Foster breaks into the Ventura Aircraft Corporation to find evidence that he saw a UFO. He looks behind several paintings on a wall and eventually pulls one back, revealing a safe hidden behind it.
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'': In "In the Altogether", the safe in Abigail's apartment is hidden behind a decorative panel.
* An improvised version in ''Series/AgentCarter''. When Peggy Carter has to hide a MacGuffin in her rented apartment, she knocks a hole in the wall, takes out a couple of bricks so she can place the device in the wall-space, then hangs a picture over the damage.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': In "The Fairy Godparents Job", TheMark has a safe hidden behind a painting in his swanky apartment.
* Parodied on ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' in the episode "Dennis Moore" where a safe is hidden behind... a painting of a safe.

* ''Radio/AdventuresInOdyssey'' used this trope, and the stock joke: A safe was hidden behind a picture of a safe.

* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'':
** ''Utatti Asfet'' has two wall safes behind paintings: one behind a lithograph of the Mississippi paddle wheeler "The Bayou Queen", and one behind a portrait of Father Michael Thibidoux, a Cthulhuoid cultist.
** ''The Asylum and Other Tales'' adventure "The Asylum". In Doctor Freygan's bedroom there's a painting that's slightly askew. Behind the painting is a wall safe with $5,000 worth of antique gold coins.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' supplement ''Chilling Tales'', adventure "Undying Justice". Sir Robert's study has a wall safe hidden behind a picture. It contains his journal, which mentions his murder of a man he (mistakenly) thought was having an affair with his wife.
* SPI's ''TabletopGame/DragonQuest'' supplement ''The Enchanted Wood''. On the 4th floor of the Ruined Tower in room T-12 there's a painting of a woman and a man over the fireplace mantle. Behind the painting is a safe with several dangerous traps connected to it. Inside the safe is treasure, including coins, jewelry and several magical items.

* ''VideoGame/TwentyTwentySeven'': Your safehouse in Paris has one.
* A few apartments in ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' have safes hidden behind paintings, Adam Jenson has an emergency stash hidden behind his TV which slides up on the wall (It contains a pistol, some ammo, and a bit of cash, along with some non-interactive medicine).
* One of the first levels of the first ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' featured this.
* This is the first place to look for safes when you're a thief in the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' games. The fourth game hangs a lampshade on this in the Thieves' Manual, explaining that people still do it despite the trope being well-known because they are stupid.
* Dr. Fred's safe in ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' and ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle'' is hidden behind a portrait of him, with hair.
* In ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves'', not only are safes hidden behind paintings, but the combinations are hidden ''in'' the paintings.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' - the switch to open a secret door lies behind a poster in the Celadon Game Corner.
* In ''VideoGame/CovertAction'' safes are obvious, but in some objects the {{Player Character}} can hide bugs in break-in mode, and painting on the wall is one of them: turn it, plant a bug, turn it back. Also you see the guards walking around sometimes quickly open and close those paintings, presumably to check for bugs some "inventive" spy always may leave behind.
* Used in the ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' series of [=CRPG=]s, mainly by inferring that there are secret compartments behind clickable paintings. Subverted once in ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGateII Shadows of Amn]]'', however: attempting to pick a locked door in a thieves' guild would reveal that it's just an incredibly elaborate painting with a doorknob attached.
* It's probably easier to list the [[PointAndClickGame Room Escape]] games that ''don't'' use this trope.
* ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor: Frontline'': there is a villa, inside the villa is a map hidden behind a painting and documents in a cuckoo clock. There are controller breaking numbers of cuckoo clocks and paintings AND WHAT WERE YOU DEVELOPERS THINKING
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'': There is a secret door hidden behind a tapestry in Venim Manor. [[spoiler: You'll need to rescue someone from this hidden room to advance in the House Redoran and Redoran Hortator questlines]].
* In ''VideoGame/AceAttorneyInvestigations'', each prosecutor's office contains a wall safe meant to store evidence needed for trials. Edgeworth hides his behind the suit jacket and [[WaistcoatOfStyle vest]] he keeps framed and hanging on his wall.
* One of the easiest ways to hide a treasure stash in ''{{VideoGame/Minecraft}}'' is to make an adjacent room and hide it behind a 12x12 painting. Preferably you'll have an iron door behind it and the room itself blocked with obsidian, [[OpenSecret because this technique is so old it's pretty much the first thing people think of when they see said giant paintings.]]
* In VideoGame/{{Penumbra}} ''Black Plague'', an AirVentPassageway is hidden behind an odd painting.
* In the Big Bank heist of ''VideoGame/{{PAYDAY 2}}'', there's always a safe hidden behind a painting in the bank manager's office. It sometimes holds a keycard necessary to open a security door, though there's usually just a partially-eaten sandwich inside.
** The Golden Grin Casino heist features a safe behind a painting in the manager's office also; it must be opened to find one of three parts of a code lock. The painting itself can be taken as loot.
* ''VideoGame/{{Scratches}}'' has a safe hidden behind a painting in the master bedroom.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkFall : Light's Out'', the button to open a hidden drawer is hidden behind the corner of a painting in the head lighthouse-keeper's room.
* The Crabb & Sons company in ''VideoGame/{{Safecracker}}'' lampshade and joke about this trope in a pamphlet in-game. Given that what they produce ''is'' safes, barely any of the safes at their corporate headquarters are hidden.
--> "No longer is it the case of looking behind the right painting. Now the crack thief will be down on his hands and knees, touching and prodding at everything he sees in hopes of getting lucky."
** The 2006 successor plays with this, with a painting that ''does'' hide a safe, except there are other paintings connected by wires that have to be rearranged in the right order before the one with the safe will open.
* In ''VideoGame/AmnesiaAMachineForPigs'', there is a lever behind a painting in one of the bathrooms that opens a secret door.
* In ''VideoGame/KathyRain'', there is a safe behind the painting in Isaac's room at the church.
* In ''Videogame/ThimbleweedPark'', Ransome's wall safe in his trailer is hidden behind a clown poster. Likewise, Chuck's safe in his room is hidden behind a painting.

* In ''Webcomic/CestLaVie'', expat French siblings Mona and Pierre Montrois are bequeathed the lifetime collection of artworks created by an eccentric uncle. They are less than enthralled by this until they realise their ''real'' inheritance is several hundred thousand francs that their uncle has hidden in the frames, so as to evade French taxation and death duties.
* ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' has a few of these, subverted in every possible way. Early on, we see that Problem Sleuth's safe is just a blank facade, concealing a painting. Not to mention the safe hidden behind his ''window''. ItMakesSenseInContext.

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': "Bender's Big Score" has the safe behind a painting of the Professor opening the painting to find the safe.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' had this in Burns' mansion. Bart, searches for it, only to find a Beefeater guard as well.
* Non-safe (unsafe?) example: Vlad Masters of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' hides a portal to the ghost zone behind a painting of himself. On the other hand, the Ghost Zone side of the portal is "concealed" behind ''[[RefugeInAudacity a giant]] [[RuleOfFunny football]]''. Vlad, by the way, is a massive Green Bay Packers fan.
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' hides a safe behind a family portrait at home. [[spoiler:This works until the safe itself runs away.]] He also has another of these, holding his case files, in his secret lair.
* Painter Smurf hides a stash of smurfberry candy ''inside his own painting'' in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "Smurfette's Sweet Tooth".

* [[http://www.valuesafes.com/wall_safes.html Still used]] in RealLife. Model 20720 comes with a built-in frame to conceal the door, and a remote control. This trope is mentioned [[http://wallsafestore.com/ by this seller]] and [[http://www.discounthomeoffice.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=49_53 this one]].