Four Naked Women (The Four Witches)

1497
Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528)


Catalogue Raisonné

Bartsch (intaglio) 075; Meder 69a

Dimensions

Platemark: 19.0 x 13.1 cm (7 1/2 x 5 3/16 in.)

Accession Number

64.2182

Medium or Technique

Engraving

Not On View

Collections

Europe, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

The women are reminiscent of classical depictions of the Three Graces, which inspired many Renaissance artists. Different scholars have identified them as the goddesses Juno, Minerva, and Venus, with Discordia in the background, and as witches preparing for their Sabbath. Death and damnation are indicated by the skull and bone and the devil enveloped in flames. The letters O.G.H. remain a mystery.

Provenance

Sir John St. Aubyn (b. 1758 - d. 1839, Lugt 1534). Vinzent Mayer (b. 1831 - d. 1918, Lugt 2525), Fribourg. Francis Seymour Haden (b. 1818 - d. 1910, Lugt 1227), London. 1964, sold by William H. Schab (dealer), New York to the MFA for $4,000. (Accession Date: December 9, 1964)

Credit Line

Katherine E. Bullard Fund in memory of Francis Bullard