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Salvator Rosa : “Scenes of Witchcraft IV – Night” (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.

In the pitch black of night, two groups of men are gathered in a forest. To the left, travelers apprehensively pause to watch a magician conjure terrifying apparitions. Since the Middle Ages, necromancy, the act of communing with the dead, was associated with male sorcerers. In Rosa’s painting, the wizened necromancer who stands tall and resolute directly below a classical column is reminiscent of Moses, a predecessor to Renaissance depictions of sorcerers. Rosa’s learned magicians not only invoke associations with philosophers and intellects, but they would have also referred to the artist himself and the intellectual elite with whom he associated in Florence. Just as a powerful magician could conjure strange creatures with his wand, so too could Rosa shape a strange world with his originality, intelligence, and the skillful use of paint and brush.

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

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