A canter today through the British Museum (including the Mesopotamia room) culminated in a brief look at the Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibition. Halloween writing deadlines are pressing and I needed inspiration.
The focus of the exhibition is the representation of women as the source of evil, deviance and misdirection of the virtuous. There was a preachy part of this post linking this representation of women to modern day trolling, but as my blog followers are smarter than me, you’ll have made the link yourselves.
Click the pictures for higher res versions.
The one below is innocent at first glance, but note the devil peaking out of the fire. OGH on the globe apparently stands for O Gott hute – O God Save Us.
Circe is one of my favourite mythical characters, partly out of love of the Odyssey.
Poor St Anthony makes several appearances. The general theme is that asceticism in the deserts of Egypt will make you go mad and have visions of demons and succubi.
When the prophet Samuel told Saul of his impending death, Saul was tempted by the witch of Endor. She promised him an army of small furry creatures of limited technological ability that would nonetheless overwhelm a vastly superior army. Saul refused because he did not want to ruin his franchise.
One more of St Anthony to round off the pictures: