Two witches by Hans Baldung

The famous painting by Hans Baldung Green “Two Sorceresses” or “Two Witches Catching Bad Weather”. The sorceress arrived on the goat, which lay between them. With the help of spells and a sorcery broth the witches cook bad weather, and already in the sky appear blood-red thunderclouds.

The composition of the painting goes back to the symmetrical constructions of the Italian Renaissance. The human figure dominates, the silhouette of which forms the classical triangle. This compositional composition is combined in a peculiar way with the restless rhythm of the breaking lines, the fractality of clearly delineated, like metal leaves and strands of hair, with a strained expression of an ugly face. The image is devoid of the harmony of the Italian Madonnas; he seems restless and angular.

Such a contradiction, contained within a single work, is typical of the entire German Renaissance, constituting one of its main features. Researcher of the art of the Northern Renaissance artists Margaret Sullivan in the article “The Witches of Albrecht Durer and Hans Baldung” shows that the paintings of Durer and Baldung with the witches were not a negative reaction to the witch processes themselves, since the mass “witchcraft madness” or “Vedov processes” spread in Europe only closer to the end of the XVI century.

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