Examination of a Witch

‘Examination of a Witch’ By Thompkins H. Matteson, 1853.
At the center of the picture, a young girl is brought before the townspeople for the accusation of being a witch. The girl has to be stripped down of her clothes for physical examination in order to be exposed as a witch. The shameful look on her face is quite visible as her body is being exposed to the crowd. At the time, a mark on the back, which was ‘the mark of evil’, gave away a witch. In the painting, the older woman on the left of the girl is pointing to her back as if she is showing proof to the crowd that the girl indeed does have the mark. After examining the painting more closely, you can see that a few people have fainted from shock after seeing the proof that the young girl has been engaging herself in witchcraft. This shows us that the girl is well-known to the townspeople.

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