Skip to main content
Witches at their Incantations
Salvator Rosa

Scenes of the occult were rare, though not unknown, in 17th- century Italy. During his years in Florence (1640-9) Rosa produced a number of scenes of witchcraft, of which this (signed) painting is the most ambitious surviving example. It may be the painting referred to in a letter by Rosa of 1666 as having been painted twenty years earlier and one of his finest, and it is probably contemporary with one of Rosa's poems entitled 'The Witch'.

Spells are cast in the centre, below a man hanged from a withered tree. The brightly illuminated foreground is contrasted with the nocturnal landscape behind.

Key facts
Artist Salvator Rosa
Artist dates 1615 - 1673
Full title Witches at their Incantations
Date made about 1646
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 72 x 132 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1984
Inventory number NG6491
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo