About this artwork

This print shows the procession of a witch through a dark and menacing underworld. She is pulled on a chariot made from the carcass of a monstrous creature, and is accompanied by men, children, animals, and instruments. Iconographically these recall scenes of Bacchic parades. Compositionally the horizontal arrangement evokes processional reliefs found on classical sarcophagi. This print was engraved by Agostino Veneziano, but based on an original design by another artist whose identity has been open to debate. The subject of the print is also unclear. Attempts have been made to identify the figure with a specific textual source, or as a particular witch such as Erichtho, Hecate or the witches of the ‘Furious Horde’, but no single theory has proved convincing. Mystery is maintained, as the meaning and function of this complex image remains unknown.

  • title:
    The Carcass (Lo Stregozzo)
  • accession number:
    P 2474
  • artist:
    Agostino VenezianoItalian (about 1490 - about 1540)
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Engraving on paper
  • date created:
    About 1520
  • measurements:
    Plate mark: 30.70 x 64.80 cm (framed: 90.20 x 74.20 x 7.80 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1960

Agostino Veneziano

Agostino Veneziano

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