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Salvator Rosa : “Scenes of Witchcraft II – Day” (c. 1645-1649)

Archival Inkjet on Matte Finish Fine Art Paper

The Ibis’s giclée process uses archival pigment inks on 100% cotton rag paper to achieve crisp detail and rich, lasting color. Unlike posters, they will not yellow with time, but will maintain their original quality for as long as you own them. If you are unhappy with your print for any reason, you are welcome to return it for a full refund.

Rosa’s scene at noon showcases several hoary hags that exemplify his treatment of witches. Clutching skulls, wielding brooms, and slicing lizards, the witches prepare to travel to the Sabbath, an orgy of witches. One witch flays the skin of a thrashing lizard to extract the innards needed to concoct magical unguents, while her companions brandish skulls. Goats were the common mode of transportation for witches, but Rosa substitutes an owl, a harbinger of evil. Although Rosa foregrounds the violent cruelty of witchcraft, situating the grotesque hags in the full light of day introduces a comic aspect to the scene. Rosa’s use of comedy and the unexpected to critique the world around him stemmed from the satirical poetry he wrote throughout his stay in Florence and his return to Rome in 1649. By lightening the palette and mood of the painting, Day reflects his interest in satire and his self-appointed role to expose and critique human folly.

Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.

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