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Taschen Chronicles the History of Witchcraft in New Art Book

From its ancient roots to modern incarnations.

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean the spookiness needs to stop. Global artbook purveyor, Taschen, has released Witchcraft: The Library of Esoterica, which chronicles the history of folklore from its ancient roots to its modern incarnations.

Edited by Jessica Hundley, and co-edited by author, scholar, and practitioner Pam Grossman, the book takes a deep dive into the many archetypes the witch has taken throughout the course of time. From the legend of Odysseus and the Celtic seductress Cerridwen, to playing muse for a number of artists, including Francisco José de Goya and Albrecht Dürer, along with a constant presence throughout literature and film.

In an interview with It’s Nice That, Grossman comments on Auguste Rodin’s 1890 painting, Witch’s Sabbath, noting that the broomstick legend is “rooted in an old practice of women using broom handles to apply a psychoactive herbal unguent (or “flying ointment”) to their delicate tissues for quick absorption, thus giving themselves a hallucinogenically-induced sensation of flight.”

Spanning 520 pages, Witchcraft is a densely packed book that contains a number of essays, interviews and 400 intricate artworks. You can buy the book for $40 USD on Taschen.

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