Saul and the Witch of Endor, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, 1526

Saul and the Witch of Endor, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, 1526

oil on panel, h 85.5cm × w 122.8cm Catalogue entry

Fearing the outcome of a battle, Saul, king of the Israelites, consulted the fortune-telling witch of Endor. The prophecy came true: Saul lost the battle, but shortly before he was to be killed, he threw himself on his sword. His suicide – in the middle background – is a warning against witchcraft. In the foreground is a Witches’ Sabbath: the fortune-teller sits within a chalk circle, surrounded by other witches, satyrs, and imaginary figures.

On display in room 0.6

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Catalogue entry