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Lightning Struck a Flock of Witches, mid-late 19th century

Lightning Struck a Flock of Witches, mid-late 19th century


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Lightning Struck a Flock of Witches, mid-late 19th century

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Media ID 21230881

© Heritage Art/Heritage Images

Broom Broomstick Broomsticks Dramatic Electricity Lightning Oil On Cardboard Smithsonian American Art Museum William Beard William Holbrook Beard Witch Witchcraft Witches


Lightning Struck a Flock of Witches, mid-late 19th century - A Captivating Blend of Art and Science

EDITORS COMMENTS
. This oil painting by William Holbrook Beard, titled "Lightning Struck a Flock of Witches" takes us back to the mysterious world of witchcraft in America during the mid-late 19th century. The artist skillfully combines elements of folklore, history, and scientific curiosity in this dramatic piece. Set against a stormy backdrop, we witness an extraordinary event as lightning strikes a flock of witches flying on their broomsticks. With vibrant colors and meticulous attention to detail, Beard brings these mythical figures to life. Each woman's expression reflects shock and fear as they are caught off guard by nature's wrath. Beyond its artistic appeal, this painting also serves as an educational tool. It sheds light on the cultural beliefs surrounding witchcraft during that era while highlighting the scientific fascination with electricity. As part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection, it stands as a testament to our country's heritage art. Beard's work invites contemplation about societal attitudes towards women at that time—often associated with witchcraft—and how science played into shaping those perceptions. By capturing this moment frozen in time on oil-covered cardboard, he sparks conversations about gender roles and superstitions prevalent in 19th-century America. "Lightning Struck a Flock of Witches" is not just an exquisite piece; it is also an invitation for viewers to explore historical

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