Visual Images: Penetence and Pornagraphy


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Sexual Imagery

 Sex and nudity were often featured in art about witchcraft. Witches were thought to have sexual relations with the devil so this made a great reason to display sexuality while staying within the realm of what was righteous and religous.  Hans Baldung Grien, woman riding man, print, 1513, Germany

The image on the upper right is a clearly pornagraphic image of a witch. This witch is riding on the back of this man who is either the devil or a man she has weakened by her evil charms.

Davidson mentions the use of witchcraft subject matter for pornagraphic puposes in her book on Northern European Witchcraft Art.

"Witches and demons always enjoyed a sabbat which was an orgiastic revelry and perhaps because so much witchcraft art is pornagraphy, this was always a popular
component of sabbat scenes in art."(Davidson, 101)

The image on the lower right by Hans Baldung Green, a Northern European artist, is an example of how the subject of witchcraft could be used as an excuse to paint scenes of nudity and debauchery.

This image has an obvious connection to witchcraft in the title, as well as the emblems included in the work. There are two types of vanitas images: the broken dead tree, and the skull and bone. There are Animal Familiars, and the women are casting a spell.

 Hans Baldung Green "Preparing for Witches Sabbat", 1510

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This page authored by Theresa J. Biagiarelli