Temptresses, decrepit hags and glamorous spell-casters: New Scottish art exhibition to reveal real faces of witchcraft
Monday 10 December 2012
The dark history of European witchcraft will be explored in an exhibition opening at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art next July.
500 years of paintings and drawings by artists such as William Blake and Francisco De Goya will be included in Witches and Wicked Bodies, which runs from July 27 to November 23.
The organisers hope to show that witches were not just seen as cackling women on broomsticks, but as temptresses, decrepit hags and glamorous spell-casters. National Galleries of Scotland have curated the show with assistance from artist and writer Deanna Petherbridge.
It will delve into the 16th and 17th centuries, during which thousands of women were killed because of fears of witchcraft. There will be one section dedicated to representations of some of Scotland’s most famous witches, the three sisters from Macbeth.
A selection of contemporary works includes some female artists’ take on the witch. Paula Rego’s 1996 work Straw Burning looks back to 1612’s Pendle Witch Trials while Kiki Smith’s Out of the Woods takes an enquiring look at the phenomenon.
Witches and Wicked Bodies is organised in partnership with the British Museum, who have loaned William Blake’s The Whore of Babylon which will be displayed alongside the Scottish National Galleries’ own Blake drawing, once thought to depict Hecate, the classical witch of the crossroads.
London’s National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum are also lending works.
John Leighton, Director General of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “I believe that this is the first time that witchcraft across the ages has been the subject of a major art exhibition in the UK and we are delighted to be partners with the British Museum on this truly fascinating and compelling show.“
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Jay Z fights lawsuit over use of oh in 'Run This Town'
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants role as stableman in period drama
Star Wars 7 leaked photo of Adam Driver changes everything
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'