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  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1895,0122.230

  • Description

    The Witches' Sabbath; four nude female figures sitting on the ground with a cauldron, which is emitting big plumes of smoke and traces of a potion with frogs. Around the figures, the ground is littered with bones, witchforks and other items associated with witchcraft. On the right, next to the barren tree with the monogram tablet, a cat is sitting with its back turned. In the night sky, another two witches, one barely visible through the smoke, the other one riding a goat and carrying a witchfork with another cauldron and animal bones. Yellow stain on the left witch. 1510 Colour woodcut printed from two blocks, tone block in grey

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1510
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 373 millimetres
    • Width: 257 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed "HBG" on a tablet hanging from the tree on the far right, and dated "1510" on the tree trunk itself.
  • Curator's comments

    BM has another colour woodcut of this design (1834,0712.73) and impression of outline block only (1852,1009.203). See Giulia Bartrum, 'German Renaissance Prints', exh. cat., BM, London 1995, no.55. See also Matthias Mende, 'Hans Baldung Grien. Das graphische Werk', Unterschneidheim 1978, no.16. Mende points out the links between the flying witch in Baldung's woodcut and Dürer's 'Witch riding backward on a goat' (BM 1868,0822.188).

    Text from Bartrum 1995
    Literature: Bartsch, 55; Hollstein, 235 II; Mende, 16; Marrow and Shestack, 18

    This is a fine impression and has survived in good condition. The subtle change in mood evoked by the different coloured tone block illustrates the particular suitability of this technique of printing to Baldung's choice of subject and expressive style.

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  • Bibliography

    • Hollstein 235.II bibliographic details
    • Bartrum 1995 55 bibliographic details
    • Bartsch VII.319.55 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (German XVIc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    1995 Jun-Oct, BM, 'German Renaissance Prints, 1490-1550', no.55
    1996 Jun-Aug, Canterbury, Royal Mus and AG, G. Renaissance Prints
    1996 Nov-Dec, Edinburgh, NG of Scotland, G. Renaissance Prints
    1997 Jan-Mar, Cardiff, Nat Mus of Wales, G. Renaissance Prints
    1997 Apr-May, Llandudno, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, G. Renaissance Prints
    1997 Oct-Dec, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre, G. Renaissance Prints

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1895

  • Acquisition notes

    Bartrum 1995 Sale, Christie's, 7 July 1884, lot 581, bought by Gutekunst for £16 10s

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1895,0122.230

The Witches' Sabbath; four nude female figures sitting on the ground with a cauldron, which is emitting big plumes of smoke and traces of a potion with frogs. Around the figures, the ground is littered with bones, witchforks and other items associated with witchcraft. On the right, next to the barren tree with the monogram tablet, a cat is sitting with its back turned. In the night sky, another two witches, one barely visible through the smoke, the other one riding a goat and carrying a witchfork with another cauldron and animal bones. Yellow stain on the left witch.  1510  Colour woodcut printed from two blocks, tone block in grey

The Witches' Sabbath; four nude female figures sitting on the ground with a cauldron, which is emitting big plumes of smoke and traces of a potion with frogs. Around the figures, the ground is littered with bones, witchforks and other items associated with witchcraft. On the right, next to the barren tree with the monogram tablet, a cat is sitting with its back turned. In the night sky, another two witches, one barely visible through the smoke, the other one riding a goat and carrying a witchfork with another cauldron and animal bones. Yellow stain on the left witch. 1510 Colour woodcut printed from two blocks, tone block in grey

Image description

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