Two Witches


Mixed technique on limewood
Inv. No. 1123

65 × 46 cm

zur  Biographie

From the time of Dürer, witches were the frequent subject of prints but served as a motif for a painting only once. Baldung’s work, not devoid of a certain humour, will have been executed for an educated patron who disdained his contemporaries’ obsessive belief in witches. Despite the overwhelming natural disaster alluded to in the sky behind them, no danger seems to emanate from the women themselves; the corpulent seated one, for example, is hardly about to fly away on her he-goat. On the contrary, an erotic ensemble is formed which retains the sensually aesthetic charm of nude studies. The dragon in the flask held by the seated figure is an allusion to the science of alchemy.

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