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From the shop

about 1772
  • Scottish Art
This drawing dates from the time that Runciman left Rome in the autumn of 1771, or possibly from his return to Edinburgh in 1772. It illustrates Macbeth's second encounter with the witches in Shakespeare’s famous play (Act 4, Scene 1). In this drawing the witches are secondary figures. Their leader Hecate addresses Macbeth, and he experiences a vision of an armed head which tells him to beware of his rival Macduff, Thane of Fife. Some of the details derive from Salvator Rosa’s famous painting of 'Saul and the Witch of Endor' (Louvre, Paris), which Runciman would have known as a print.

Glossary Open


The printmaking technique in which an image is inscribed on a copper plate with a tool that cuts a groove in the surface. This groove holds the ink that creates the print when it is applied to paper. Also refers to the method of making an incision on a material such as glass.



  • Acc. No. D 296
  • Medium Pen and brown ink on paper
  • Size 61.20 x 45.80 cm (framed: 84.50 x 59.10 x 2.50 cm)
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910