Jun 5, 2006

The Four Witches (Four Naked Women)

The Four Witches (Four Naked Women)


Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471–1528)


Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1964.22

Catalogue raisonné: Meder 69



Dating from early in Albrecht Dürer’s career, this engraving cannot be tied to a specific narrative but may allude to the Greek goddess of the underworld, Hecate. Four nude women gather under an orb with a skull at their feet, while a ghoul emerges to their left. Three of the women could represent Hecate, who was often depicted with three faces or bodies; the fourth may be Diana, Hecate’s counterpart on earth. The nudity and allusions to black magic suggest mischief and the realm of witches. Prints offered a new medium for exploring subject matter that was deemed inappropriate in other media, such as painting.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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