Part of a set. See all set records
Oil on canvas
Framed: 76.2 x 9.6 cm (30 x 3 3/4 in.); Unframed: 54.5 cm (21 7/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1977.37.2
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.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.