seductive creature who have fascinated painters with imaginative and disturbing subjects ...
old, grotesque, terrifying, representing evil, chaos and conflict
young, beautiful, powerful, attractive, delicious, charming and diabolical
who says witch says potion ...
a skull on the ground, an obvious symbol of death,
a witch surrounded by monstrous creatures prepares a mysterious mixture
a bat fluttering over her crazy hair
David Teniers the Younger, David Teniers le Jeune, atelier de, studio of
Scène de sorciellerie
magic at its most banal ...
using magic to conquer a man
A young witch has used her powers to cast a love-spell on the youth
who enters at the back.
(Presumably it is his heart that lies in the casket and receives
the streams of sparks and water)
Unknown Master, German (active in 15th century in the Lower Rhineland)
The Love Charm or The love spell
Le Charme d’amour ou Le sortilège d'amour
Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
Just before the decisive battle, Saul decided to consult
a the Witch of Endor to seek the advice of the dead Samuel ...
the witch, sitting on a throne of owls, practices her witchcraft,
a satyr is holding a book with magic spells,
four women an two goats are tasting their brewage,
a devil with a hurdy-gurdy is standing
the left King Saul is standing before the witch's house
in the background the ruins of an arch is depicted through which
the Prophet Samuel and Saul's suicide can be seen
Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen
Saul and the Witch of Endor
Saul et la sorcière d'Endor
A witch riding a goat and brandishing a broomstick charges
to chase away dozens of devils
a shadowy figure gestures with his bony hand,
a strange dog-like Hell hound dashes forward as though to attack
an diabolical creature with horns,
an alien standard-bearer wafts an unknown banner,
a melange of cruel mongrels grasp and tear at one another
somewhat like an ancient Greek satyr, half man, half goat,
his beautifully detailed butterfly wings seem like something
out of the Seelie Court of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Witches' Sabbath
Le sabbat des sorcières
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
The Witches in a moonlit Italian landscape ...
an older one riding a horned goat,
and a younger witch is accompanied by a boy,
a gallows on which a dead body hangs,
a soldier in armor, looking in a mirror,
an woman kneeling holding a snake,
an dead body of a robber, his gun by his head,
an infant, a cat,
a small chimera,
a bat flies in the distance,
a transparent figure is passing through a hoop
Domenicus van Wijnen
The Witches’ Sabbath by Moonlight
Le sabbat des sorcières au clair de lune
two ladies are studying books in a civilized fashion, in appearance,
they are impeccable Dutch bourgeoises, the older woman properly pious
zoomorphic spirits, avian,
small rodents, bats, flying reptiles,
demonic fish, one ridden by a rat
a young naked witch is being anointed before she flies,
a figure provides music,
a horse's skull, lacking the lower jaw
a magic circle, a dice, carafes of liquid, an egg, a knife and fork
stuck into the floor, and an incense-burner or salt-cellar …
David Teniers the Younger, David Teniers le Jeune
L’initiation de la sorcière
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna
a putti with an arrow
the enchantress Armide seducing Renaud with her enchanted mirror
two soldiers in armor, Renaud's friends, their eyes fixed on Armide
Renaud et Armide
Rinaldo and Armida
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Sunken faces, dark robes, crooked fingers,
Füssli is inspired by William Shakespeare and his play Macbeth,
where the three women are masters of fate.
The Three Witches, like the three Fates from Greek mythology,
they announce to Macbeth that he will become king;
in reality, they do not know the future but distill the temptation
that will push Macbeth to murder and then to death.
... the death's head moth in the background reinforces
the witches' message and prefigures the tragedy that is to unfold
Johann Heinrich Füssli
Study for the three witches in Macbeth
Etude pour les trois sorcières dans Macbeth
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland
The moon and a swarm of bats overshadow the day and darken the sky ...
the devil is a billy goat with lyre-shaped horns and evil human-like posture
a group of witches who feed him his favorite dish: children
El aquelarre Witches’ Sabbath
El aquelarre Le Sabbat des sorcières
Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid
Three semi-nude witches wearing penitential coroza bearing aloft a figure,
two figures in peasants' garb,
the man with the cloth over his head is making a sign with his hands
to ward off evil spirits
Le Vol des Sorcières
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Bats and owls, according to tradition, animals that suck blood,
a basket of stolen children,
a group of old witches,
one torments a man, one reads the spell by a candle,
another sticks a pin into the spinal column of a fetus,
from the darkness of the sky emerges a figure ... the Devil
Witches or Incantation
Sorcières ou L’incantation
Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid
Creepy and grotesque witches and warlocks
are amazed and absorbed in the discourse ...
of a goat … !
of the Satan, who dressed in clerical clothing, indicates to
the young woman that she has been appointed as a witch
Witches’ Sabbath or The Great He-Goat
Le Sabbat des sorcières ou Le Grand Bouc
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
a sprig of mandrake,
a black cat ...
a Faustian character invokes Beelzebub, prince of demons, and a naked young woman
appears to him
so ... he makes a deal with the Devil
(It all seems good fun, as if witchcraft was a hobby for every family.
But... history tells us that he will end up being arrested as a witch and burned alive).
Musée Provincial Félicien Rops, Namur
The inspiration comes from Goethe's Faust, which describes
the "Walpurgis Night".
A pagan feast during which Mephistopheles amuses his senses
with all sorts of witches and demons.
In the company of strange beings,
under the obedience of the bat, incarnation of the goddess Nyx,
the witches fly or ride their brooms and the Sabbath goat
(... The witch at center stares at us and draws us into the scene,
with both evil and lust in her eyes.)
Luis Ricardo Falero
Witches going to their Sabbath or The departure of the witches, or The Vision of Faust)
Les sorcières vont à leur sabbat ou Le départ des sorcières, ou La Vision de Faust
A witch endowed with magic powers draws a magic circle,
outside the circle an landscape bare and barren
a group of rooks or ravens and a frog - all symbols of evil and associated
The meaning of the picture is unclear, but its mystery and exoticism
struck a chord with contemporary observers.
John William Waterhouse
The Magic Circle
Le Cercle magique
The Tate Gallery, London
a pair of copulating toads symbolizing her lover’s infidelity,
a small Egyptian sculpture, a
a dried sting ray
cobras, beetles, owls,
a moon half-hidden by the presence of a bat, the animal of the witchcraft world
… Medea casting a spell
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham
Circe pours her glowing emerald green potion into the water,
turning Scylla, her rival, into a hideous monster;
the already transformed Scylla writhes beneath the surface.
John William Waterhouse
Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide
witches with erotic undertones ...
naked witches on the Sabbath, around a cauldron
from which flames emerge in the shape of chimaeras
accompanied by satanic animals
Les Sorcières autour du feu
Witches around the Fire
Musée Départemental du Prieuré, Saint-Germain-en-Laye
In this beautifully articulated forest fly three witches in transparent gowns
and with flowing hair
three wolves stare out at us hypnotically ...
This scene terrorizes the viewer as much by the wide-eyed, even fearful
stare and defensive gesture of the foreground figure.
Eugène Samuel Grasset
Trois femmes et trois loups
Three women and three wolves
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
Witches in Western painting
Les sorcières dans la peinture occidentale
images and text credit www.
Music The Piano Guys Code Name Vivaldi (Bourne Soundtrack-Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto)
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