Witch and Dragon
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The drawing, a pen on brown-tinted paper, heightened with white is located at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. A stream of fire of the dragon appears to penetrate the pudenda of the young woman. The young woman is holding on to a liana of a tree, the end of the liana enters the dragon's tale. The drawing also features two babies (cupids), one near the snout of the dragon, another is holding on to its tail.
Different interpretations of the work are extant:
- "[the] witch has just given birth, and it is an umbilical cord that connects her to a monster that has just ingested her baby." --Roy Booth
Paul Rumsey reads the contents of the dragon's snout as a "jet of flame, the heat of lust. She stokes one end of the dragon with her staff and proffers her rump to the dragon so that it can heat up her genitals. She is aided in this task by the two cupids, one who steadies the tail for the stoking, the other holds the dragons head by the nostrils to direct the flame."
The drawing is discussed in the book "Witches Lust and the Fall of Man. The Strange Phantasies of Hans Baldung Grien" in which Katharina Siefert proposed a jet of fire symbolizing coitus with the devil.