R: ggplot background gradient coloring

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Solution 1: [1]

you can print/draw the plot on top of a rasterGrob,

enter image description here

library(ggplot2)
library(grid)
library(ggthemes)

reds <- c("#7B0664", "#E32219")
g <- rasterGrob(reds, width = unit(1, "npc"), height = unit(1, "npc"), interpolate = TRUE)
p <- ggplot(data = economics, aes(x = date, y = unemploy)) +
  geom_line( alpha=1, color = "white", size = 0.5 ) +
  xlab("Years") + ylab("Unemployed [thousands]") +
  theme_base() + 
  theme(panel.background=element_blank(),
        panel.border = element_blank(),
        plot.background=element_blank(),
        text = element_text(colour="white"),
        line = element_line(colour="white")) +
  theme()

grid.newpage()
grid.draw(g)
print(p, newpage = FALSE)


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Solution Credit
Solution 1 baptiste