Four Naked Women, 1497



The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more  P.93.9

Not on Viewexpand_more

As the year 1500 approached, fear of God’s Last Judgement intensified. Given society's fear of women, it was but a small leap to the label of “witch.” In 1496, Albrecht Dürer’s godfather printed his second edition of Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches' Hammer), a handbook for detecting witches. It said women's insatiable desires made them throw in with the devil. Dürer’s 1497 engraving hints at conspiratorial mischief as four powerful nudes loom above a skull and bone, while a demon menaces at left. The puzzling "O.G.H." on the globe may stand for O Gott hüte (O God protect) or perhaps Orcus, Gehenna, Hades (Hell in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek).

Four Naked Women
Artist Life
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
M.69a/h; H.69; B.75; D.14; K.14
Curator Approved

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