nude woman with long hair blowing in the wind seated backwards on a goat, holding onto its PR horn with her PL hand; woman holds a broom (?) in her PR hand; four putti with wings in foreground, holding sticks, a ball and a small topiary; rain/snow falling from sky, ULC

Die Hexe - Witch Riding on a Goat, c. 1500

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As a leader of the Renaissance in Germany, Albrecht Dürer often brought a scientific and mathematical mindset to his art. Yet, dark and mysterious forces also stoked his imagination. In this engraving, a witch rides backwards on a flying goat, while putti cavort below. One of these capricious baby angels struggles to retain control of the unstable sphere of fate which can roll or bounce in unpredictable directions. Another precariously supports a potted plant, perhaps a symbol of man’s taming of nature. Dürer has signed his monogram backwards, perhaps a warning that under the influence of witchcraft, the world is out of kilter.

Details
Title
Die Hexe - Witch Riding on a Goat
Artist Life
1471–1528
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2014.117.2
Provenance
Adalbert von Lanna (cf. Lugt 2773) Prague (until d. 1909; his sale, H.G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 1909, no. 1442. Robert Scholtz, Budapest, Lugt 2241 (until 1911, his sale, H.G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 1911, no. 445). Rudolf Ritter von Gutmann (1880-1966, Vienna, Austria and Victoria, British Columbia , Lugt 2770). Count Antoine Seilern, London (until d. 1978; his sale, Christie’s, London, July 8, 1998, no. 23); [Helmut H. Rumbler, Frankfurt]; private collection, Germany (sold to Boerner); [C. G. Boerner, New York, until 2014; sold to MIA]
Catalogue Raisonne
Bartsch 67; Meder 68 Ib (of II); Schoch/Mende/Scheerbaum 28
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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nude woman with long hair blowing in the wind seated backwards on a goat, holding onto its PR horn with her PL hand; woman holds a broom (?) in her PR hand; four putti with wings in foreground, holding sticks, a ball and a small topiary; rain/snow falling from sky, ULC