Tuesday, October 27, 2009


With Halloween week here I wanted to present an image that speaks of spookiness and things that go bump in the night, in the world of fine art of course. For me, one of the first images that comes to mind is this woodblock print by Hans Baldung Grien from 1510 called Witches' Sabbath.

The image is of three naked and grotesque women gathered around a cauldron in a gloomy and nocturnal setting, with pitchforks being used as brooms and shovels scattered about the work. It has a bizarre and cryptic message on the vase in between the legs of one of the coven's members, as their concoction explodes and spews forth unidentified objects, fumes, and liquids. Another hag, with her arms outstretched, holds a platter with dead poultry, possibly making an offering to the devil, as a fourth witch zooms by riding backwards on top of a goat. These women are definitely a perversion of the natural order of things, celebrating with wicked abandon their sheer glee and rapture as they perform their evil rituals.

If you have not had the opportunity to explore the works of this artist I highly recommend you do some searching and check it out. Hans Baldung Grien took printmaking to a whole new level during the first half of the 16th-century. He incorporated unusual themes, such as witchcraft, into his work, making his imaginative prints and paintings an interesting record of life in 16th-century Germany.

Have a safe, spooktacular, and Happy Halloween everybody!

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

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given on 07/24/2009 by Nanny Dee (http://newenglandnanny.blogspot.com/)