The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Witches in Macbeth
  • Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803 - 1860)
  • The Witches in Macbeth
  • France
  • c.1841 - 1842
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 29.4 x 40.4 cm
    Object size: 54 x 64.5 x 10.5 cm
  • Signature: 'DECAMPS.'
  • P350
  • West Gallery III
Further Reading
  • The subject is taken from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, IV, i. Before Macbeth learns his fate, the three witches gather round their cauldron and one adds a toad to its ghastly contents. Dated c.1841-2 by Mosby, though the subject and treatment owe much to paintings of the 1820s by Delacroix, Thales Fielding and others. For the younger generation of French artists of this time such scenes from Shakespeare and other British writers (such as Scott and Byron) provided a powerful and inspiring alternative to the traditions of French classicism.