Sunday, April 10, 2011

Attempt to find the oldest witch image #1

I am fascinated to know what is the oldest image of witchcraft ever found in history - especially in a sincerely figurative form rather than cave drawings of stick people raising their hands to the sky... or something!

What I'm really trying to capture are images of witches when the term 'witch' came into existence, rather than images of the goddess Inanna or Isis, but actual witches who roamed the earth.

This seems to be one of the oldest images that I have found thus far, and I won't stop searching in order to find one that is truly ancient.  The oldest general witch-related thing I could find was a 12,000 year old shaman's grave in northern Israel - which doesn't count as a picture just as the oldest 'wise woman' documented which you can read about here.

I am interested to see how witches are depicted over time and most importantly: how that started and did it change?  Were images of witchcraft only created to justify the witch burnings by showing people the actions they would undertake by doing bad and naughty things?  Was it all fiction or were any of them real people, were any of them real stories?

I simply adore these images, they are the eldest that I have found so far.  I have no idea why the women in the image below are beating the devil - if it is meant to be the devil.

© The Trustees of the British Museum
Print made by Agostino Veneziano
After Raphael (suggested by Bartsch)
Date
1510-1536
Schools /Styles: Italian
Description: Two naked men drag the carcass of a monstrous creature, a witch rides above and two other naked men bring up the rear
Engraving





© The Trustees of the British Museum
Print made by Daniel Hopfer
Date: 1505-1536
Schools /Styles: German
Description: Three haggard-looking old women, possibly witches, beating the devil to the ground, devilish creatures in the sky, landscape background; another impression; large section at lower right made up.
Etching



Both images sourced from Varnamarafevanfel

1 comment:

OBO said...


The oldest shaman grave in the know world is Dolni Vestonice Czech Republic 27000 years old and carbon dated in America. National geographic Oct no174 1988.