Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quote o' the Moment - Skyclad Deconstructed

"Status, wealth, temporal power--all the things you're supposed to leave outside the circle. Not because they're evil. Because they get in the way."  -Rosemary Edghill

With that in mind...


The Four Witches

Tell me what you see.

17 comments:

River Daughter said...

Maybe I'm a cynic, or maybe I know too much about Medieval people, but I see four women who are showing their wealth and status via their hair styles/hats...

Evn said...

Good call! Now look at what else they're wearing: What do you think the artist was trying to convey?

Veles said...

Is it cheating if I play along?

Evn said...

Bring it.

Veles said...
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Veles said...

It's a crown of myrtle leaves, my bad. :)

w/v: heriessa, which would be a fab Witch name

Evn said...

And we have a winner. ;)

Red Delicious said...

There's also a bitchin' disco ball up top.

Pallas Renatus said...

@Red: Lmao. Now I want one.

Thalia said...

I see four very chilly women. But then I'm a New England witch and I'm sorry but skyclad ritual is fucking insane.

(I suppose I should say that I was outside all day—though not skyclad, by any means—and even though I've been inside a good hour or more I'm still fucking freezing.)

Anonymous said...

I would like to imagine that this ritual ended in one giant circle jerk.
--Georges

chrysalis1witchesjourney said...

The hats didn't escape notice, the point about wearing them, but then again at this time in history in Europe it was not considered normal or usual for someone to not wear a headdress of some sort.

Veles beat me to the equality point but I am finding myself intrigued with the skull.

The Skull at their feet... how two of them appear to be looking at it the one in back almost looks like she is just barely bearing being near it and the younger peasant woman facing us is trying to avoid looking at it but can stop herself...

We are all equal in the Circle and before Death.

Thalia said...

Adding to what I said above, whoa, I get to use some of those art school skills here.

First of all I don't think we can read too much of a positive spin into this; if Dürer was making a statement about witches being equal it was more likely something on the side of misogyny, that all classes of women hold these evil types, because all women have the potential or inclination to be evil. There is, after all, some sort of demon over there on the left leering and looking on.

And I think probably Chrysalis's point above, that women didn't ever go anywhere without their headdresses is good. I've seen medieval paintings of, say, two people in bed, or of bathhouses, where, although the people are depicted naked, they are still wearing their headdresses. For all their reputation for conservatism I think there was less worry about nudity (and it was less sexualized, I think) than there is now.

So I'd guess the 'all are equal in circle' thing is a very modern interpretation.

Evn said...

Insightful comments, one and all!

So did anyone notice the pomegranate?

knottybynature said...
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knottybynature said...

There's a bone and skull on the floor. There's a demon at the gate. Or whatever portal that is on the left side. It's a best with claws and fangs. But there's an archway. Maybe one path that goes down, the left-sided (handed hah) path and on the right side, a portal/archway you can't see where it goes... Two of them are facing forward, two are facing away. As above, so below - two are on a platform, to are on a lower level. Their, ah, size is also kind of staggered. Look at their thighs. Who did the the print? AD is below, and OGH is on the pomegranate, also a date of 1497?

Chas Clifton said...

The "AD" is the signature of Albrect Dürer. He and his pupil Hans Baldung did a lot of pictures of so-called witches.