Art and religion have an affinity that cannot really be explained. One can exist without the other, but they both would be a little less interesting without each other. If asked to make a general association of the two, the first response of most people is the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo. Philosophical history tells us that religion was the first cradle of art. Much thought is given to how art helped develop certain religious beliefs and reinforce others. In Medieval Europe, the notions of religious heresy and its connection to witchcraft were without a doubt helped along by the miniature pictures that were drawn by hand in the margins of handwritten religious manuscripts by men called Illuminators. At the time, religious writings were handwritten manuscripts. These manuscripts were very large, bulky and not available to the generally illiterate population. When the printing press became widely used, the print shops of the Holy Roman Empire, in what is now southern Germany, became the place where people congregated. These people were theologians, magistrates, artists, the artists’ patrons, and generally those who were educated. This is where the iconography of witchcraft was developed. The broomstick for flying, the cauldron for brewing potions, and kissing toads to cast spells were images that were created and spread throughout Europe, and are still in the minds of many today when asked to describe the activities of a witch.
Carol Lazette will receive her B.A. in history and after completing the additional required coursework at an undergraduate level, she will apply to the MAT program at the Kent Campus. This semester she is a member of the Distinguished Teacher Awards committee and also an undergraduate research assistant. In addition to her studies, Carol enjoys spending time with her partner of four years and their beloved dogs. Carol reads and knits in her spare time.
Lazette, C. (2015). The Development and Dissemination of Witchcraft through Art. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/4820
Lazette, Carol. 2015. “The Development and Dissemination of Witchcraft through Art”. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/4820.
Lazette, C. The Development and Dissemination of Witchcraft through Art. 24 Apr. 2015, https://oaks.kent.edu/node/4820.