Truth and bizzarria in an engraving of lo stregozzo


Although sixteenth-century print images of witchcraft from Germany are well known, this large Italian engraving, associated stylistically with Michelangelo, is a relatively obscure oddity. It is argued here that the print was made to quell unrest over the execution of ten people for "Il Corso" (the Course or Procession), that is, gathering at night for devil worship, in Mirandola. Particular as its circumstances seem to have been, the engraving provides evidence of the problematics of the imagination, the viewer's as much as the artist's, in a world in which fantasia tipped easily from legitimate to illegitimate realms.

Publication Date


Journal Title

The Art Bulletin


College Art Association

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© 1999 College Art Association