Skip to Content
Closed today, next open Thursday. Closed today, next open Thursday.

A Witches' Sabbath

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on panel.


c. 1650


Cornelis Saftleven (Dutch, 160701501681)

About this artwork

A witch riding a goat and brandishing a broomstick charges out from the left edge of this scene to chase away dozens of devils. Such ghoulish subjects had long been appreciated in Northern Europe for the way they combined a sense of wild, supernatural threat with scientific observation of the natural world—seen here in the detailed moth wings of the howling figure on the right and the deft rendering of the frog’s splayed body. Cornelis Saftleven responded to Dutch buyers’ evolving taste by treating his fantastic subjects with fine brushstrokes and a limited color palette.


On View, Gallery 213


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Cornelis Saftleven


A Witches' Sabbath


Holland (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


54.3 × 78.2 cm (21 3/8 × 30 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

George F. Porter Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions