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Albrecht Dürer, Four Naked Women (or The Four Witches)

1497, copper engraving, 19.5 x 13 cm, indicated at the plate bottom center: AD, at the hanging lamp: 1497
Inv. no. 1961/K/39, acquired in 1961 from Ratsschulbibliothek

The sheet ‘The Four Witches’ or ‘Four Naked Women’ is considered to be the first dated copper engraving by Dürer. However, the sheet’s denomination was not created by Dürer; recent research also doubts that the picture shows witches. Nude drawings tend to be used rather infrequently in late medieval art. Except for Adam and Eve Gothic painters hardly pictured naked bodies. It is more likely that Dürer just studied the proportions of the female body ub this picture which can probably be interpreted as a simple bathing scene – as it shows no devil in the background nor any bones on the Floor.