Which Witch? (Hallowe’en Poll)

Witches Flying by Goya

It’s Halloween tonight in England and if you look up into the darkened sky you will see that it is crowded with witches.  That’s not the sound of the traffic you can hear – that’s the witches cackling as they go about their business (whatever that is,,,) 

Witch-Riding-Backwards-On-A-Goat Albrecht DurerWitch riding backwards on a goat Albrecht Durer (1471 - 1578) engraving 1500

 Witches have been depicted in many paintings.  The old impression of a witch is of an old dear with a warty nose riding a broomstick.  But that has not always been the case, and today the Wicked Witch of the West persona has been replaced by a more sexy glamorous image.

The Witches Sabbath Arthur Rackham (original illustration but not used in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; 1924 Pen ink watercolour


 So, for a bit of fun and because it’s Halloween here are some random witches.  Which witch do you like best and why?

I have to admit – I like them all.  But there’s something distinctly creepy about the Goya painting.  Not only is it very well painted of course, but it seems to have a supernatural aura about it, as if Goya had actually witnessed these witches trying to fly:-0.  I get the impression that they tried several times before they actually took to the air.  I liken the impression to looking at a group of accrobats practising their performance:-D  Very unsettling indeed from the very dark Goya in his ‘Black’ paintings period’

Witchcraft by Jacques de Gheyn II


David Teniers the Younger


The Night Hag visiting the Lapland Witches by Fuseli 1796


Witches in the air Goya (1746 – 1828) painting 1797/98 here  Witch riding backwards on a goat Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1578) engraving 1500 here  The Witches Sabbath Arthur Rackham (1967 – 1939)  here  Jacques de Gheyn II image here  David Teniers the Younger here  Night hag visiting the Lapland witches here Fuseli here

PS There’s a lovely Memorial Haiku page over on the HAIKUDOODLE blog.  Please remember loved ones and contribute a Haiku 🙂

PPS Theres another wonderful poem on the Weeping Woman Why do you Weep? poetry challenge over on my Bookstains.  Just click the painting to read or maybe join in

14 thoughts on “Which Witch? (Hallowe’en Poll)

    1. I think all women are ‘witches’ (wise women, old crones, enchantress ect) to a greater or lesser extent……..If only I could remember that flying spell – it keeps going wrong 😀

  1. I’m with Eva on this…the whole witch thing seems especially directed towards women. What ever happened to the warlocks? I will have to think about my vote some more, but I’m leaning towards Goya. Tomorrow is our midterm elections…and come to think of it, I believe someone or bodies have cast a spell over this too!

    1. I picked witches because there wasn’t enough warlocks in paintings…mmmm wonder why that is?
      lots of witches to be had in paintings (even contemporary paintings) but warlocks are very conspicuous by their absence. Todays witches are younger and more sexier (in art) 🙂

    2. Thank you, Al! I too was looking for some warlocks. Honestly, I was! If you find any, Lynda, please post them.
      As for voting, Al–well I pushed myself out this morning to vote for the lesser of two evils–thank you, Ralph Nadar for articulating why those of us so fed-up NEED to vote anyway–partly because the oppostion has literally been telling us NOT to vote (at least in my neck of the woods). Yes, Nadar was on DN! this morning and his thoughts actually got me into the car. How could tea become so scary? LOL.
      –Will be watching for those warlocks—ahhh I can visualize a few as I type. LOL.

      1. Mmm these Worlocks seem to be a bit thin on the ground. I think they’re there (lurking) but they don’t want to show themselves…much more mysterious than those show off witches 😀

  2. Just have to go with Rackham, Lynda. Thank-you for posting that one. I had not seen it before. The cats are so awesome in it. The witches are ghostly and I really like the feel of the trees and broomsticks. There is some repetition, there, that makes this scene come alive. I can hear the howl of the cats, the cackle of the witches and the cold wind blow through those branches. It is always difficult to vote an ink and watercolor against an oil…….I tried to imagine Rackham as an oil….how grand is that?

    1. I had a feeling you might have gone with the Rackham one Leslie 🙂 What a wonderful illustrater he was! He has delighted and frightened many generations of children (and adults). He seems to be able to get into the subconscious: he understands our imagination and gives voice to it. Plus theres so much detail in his work, you always notice something you missed every time you view. An oil would really be aomething of that painting!!!

  3. Rackham for me it brings me back to childhood memories and love the drawing specially the trees, which have little broomsticks growing in them.

  4. Lovely (and slightly frightening) childhood memories for me too clgyrboia:-) I remember being really scared by his illustrations in the Ingoldsby Legends (which I wasn’t really allowed to read as a child :-))

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