Top row: Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, Pope Innocent VIII. Second row: Johannes Nider, author of Formicarius, and Spanish inquisitor Nicholas Eymeric, author of Directorium Inquisitorum. Both of these texts were source material for the Malleus Maleficarum.
Actually….. the guy standing in front of Directorium Inquisitorum is NOT the real Nicholas Eymeric. There do not seem to be any images of this man. So…we have instead a picture of Tomás de Torquemada, another member of the Inquisition. Close enough.
Now, on to the images of the witches. Here’s a few of the many Medieval prints available online showing witches and their persecution.
There are many other, far more grisly images. But I don’t want this banner to be torture porn. I want to focus on how this old, now almost unknown book was behind the persecution and oppression of women. So I started collecting images of women from the medieval period:
After combing through many collected images, I chose the ones above. The Virgin Marys on the outer edges are statues, which (I hope) will read as tangible, three-dimensional figures. The next women in are images from paintings, while the women closet to the center - to the witch - are drawings. So, as we get closer to the B&W image of the burning witch, the women become flatter, less detailed. They become less real. Which is what the Malleus Maleficarum did, transforming women from human beings to imagined monsters.
I need a background setting for the scene. There are all sorts of ‘Medieval cathedral interior’ images online:
This one (below) is reasonably neutral and has great perspective, drawing your eye right into the center.
Photoshopped in the figures and the title. By dragging down the letter uprights and adding zigzags, I’ve turned the words into saws, cutting the women.
The images of the men have to be above the women, representing their oppression. Four of the men were easy enough to place facing inward, but I wasn’t sure where to put the pope. I couldn’t find an picture of his full face…and then realized that he could be facing down (below). Perfect!
The more I looked at the zigzags, the less I liked them. So I gathered up images of teeth (especially shark teeth) and saw blades using for cutting trees.
Look carefully at the photo above. I’ve changed Henrich Kramer slightly. Now he’s not writing in a book, he’s using his large red quill to write the title letters. Spencer’s hand tool has also been extended, to reach the words.
You might look at these last 2 images and think ‘that looks finished” . Well, no. Check in next week to see how much more I was able to cram into this one!