Witchcraft and Magic Images from the Wellcome Library

The Wellcome Image Collection is one of the best digitized archives of rare, unusual and old images I’ve found on the internet. Here’s a selection of images relating to magic, witchcraft and sorcery.

A figure holds a scythe as winged creatures fly above him, three figures approach on a horse, and another figure approaches from the left with a scroll. Woodcut, ca. 1700-1720.

 A perturbed young woman fast asleep with a devil sitting on her chest; symbolizing her nightmare. Stipple engraving by J.P. Simon, 1810, after himself.

 A witch. Oil painting. Eighteenth century?

Witchcraft and magic: a man conducting magic rites, devils and a ghost appearing, and a hunter cowering in terror. Coloured engraving. Looks like its from c. 1820. And perhaps the top left corner is referencing the scary owl creatures in Goya’s famous “El sueño de la razon…” aquatint?


Malayan black magic (Ilmu Sihir) charm intended to curse its recipient with a fatal illness. The Arabic letters surrounding the human figure are incantations and spells written in the language of Djinns and Syaitan (demonic spirits). 19th Century

 A witch at her cauldron surrounded by beasts. Etching by J. van de Velde II, 1626. Note the strange creature in the foreground smoking a tobacco pipe, and the one in the back sporting two!

4 thoughts on “Witchcraft and Magic Images from the Wellcome Library

  1. Hi there! Glad you like them. All the images on our Wellcome Images database can be downloaded and used free of charge for non-commercial purposes. More details here (look at the How Do I? section): http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/

    Phoebe Harkins
    Wellcome Library

  2. guillaumeratel July 22, 2010 — 1:51 pm

    Nice. If you're interested in digital witchcraft documents, Cornell University arguably has the largest witchcraft collection in the world and quite a bit of it has been digitized and put online (e.g. their 1580 edition of the Malleus Maleficarum and Jean Bodin's 1587 De la démonomanie des sorciers). Here is the link:

    http://digital.library.cornell.edu/w/witch/

  3. Belated thanks to you both for the links! I love the Malleus Maleficarum…

  4. The fourth image seems to be an illustration of the 'Wolf's Glen' scene from Weber's “Der Freischütz” (1821), where Caspar is casting the magic bullets.

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