Falero's The Departure of the Witches

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Today's art history appreciation moment: The Departure of the Witches, 1878, by Luis Ricardo Falero.


  1. You can judge the period of the painting by the “model” of female beauty.

    So nice to look old-fashioned: these women are the exact opposite of the Playboy model. They have big hips (good for reproduction) and small tits.

    And I did enjoy the “old witches” with their tired old dugs hanging out.

    Sorry ladies, we all reach that stage eventually!

  2. Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I’ve been trying to find the name of this artist for a long time!!!!

  3. Actually the anatomy is beautifully observed. And the light even suggests to me the early-ish 20th century pinup illustration of people like Gil Elvgren

  4. I would like to formally request more of these instead of or in addition to unicorn chasers. Nice.

  5. It’s as if Goya had been reinterpreted by way of Bougereau. It also reminds me a little bit of the illustrations Dore had done for the Divine Comedy, not the anatomy so much as the dizzying composition.

    1. “It’s as if Goya had been reinterpreted by way of Bouguereau.”

      That’s a perfect description.

  6. Soundtrack: “Goliath and the Vampires” by Monster Magnet. Put that on and stare at the painting a while! I DARE you.

      1. Actually 19 Witches did pop into my head first, but it’s much too poppy and upbeat. Goliath and the Vampires is a much moodier, more ominous song. Maybe a couple of the ladies in the picture are vampires too?

  7. Very interesting to note the ‘bristle end’ forward, which I’d heard long ago is how witches were portrayed riding brooms prior to the advent of aerodynamics. Can anyone out there verify the business-end aft representation of broom riding only arising in the 20th century?

  8. zuludaddy — I can’t offer “verification”, but I haven’t seen any aerodynamic depictions from before the 20th century, and I have at least one book from the 1970s that alludes to the “streamlining” switch.

    I think the specific basis for the “bristles forward” method is that witches were supposed to ride their brooms the way kids do (or at least did) when playing “horsie”.

    And I don’t know who anon #2 is spending time with, but I wouldn’t describe the young lady in the foreground as “small breasted”. “Deliriously hot” would be my choice of words.

    1. Thx Umbriel,

      Yes, had the image of “horsie” in mind… Can tell you that a very smart Wiccan friend posits a drugs connection to the broomstick riding element of witchery: a paste or mush of psychotropic or hallucinogenic plant matter would be rubbed onto the handle, and, ummm… brought into the body via rubbing of the vulva on the treated handle, with exuberant – and decidedly unchurchly – results…

      As to the young lady in the bottom foreground: you, sir, are very most correct. I should like to get to know her better.

  9. Today’s art history appreciation moment: Nice tits!

    Unicorn chasers? Porn chasers of course! All this stuff was just an excuse to look at tits.

    Not, of course, that I have anything against tits!

    Actually (and just to show that I am an educated human being, not just a fan of tits) this reminds me of my favourite book: The Master And Margarita

    1. Everybody knows that the Devil gets all the hottest ladies. (Not to mention the best music).

  10. Hm. Wonder how much it would cost to get something like that reproduced on my living room ceiling.

  11. This was painted by hand.
    You know….paint… brushes…vision…genius.

    Is no one impressed?
    (Everyone would be drooling and applauding if it was a ‘shopped image)

  12. Yes, I am very, very impressed that it was painted by hand. The human body, horses, and getting boat to look the right shape are among the great challenges to artists, which is why life painting is a vital part of the artist’s training.

    However, in terms of selling paintings and making a living, it’s still about …tits.

    Maybe its a shame that first, print, and then the internet, made porn without brushwork available to all? On the other hand, at least it lacks the hypocrisy of “this is art, not porn”.

  13. Mmm…. That broomstick sure looks hard, pressed against her supple flesh. She’s got a tight grip on it. A little rough-play. Looks like she’s working it with her toes. Yeah baby, do it with your toes.

  14. Judging by the bat’s silhouette against the moon, does anybody else think Commissioner Gordon is just a little bit disappointed when he turns on the signal and a dude in a cape shows up?

  15. One puzzlement I noticed in the image is the hairpiece (or something) on the head of the male figure squeezing the ass of the lady in front. What /is/ that on his head? It looks like a cross between some kind of horns, and a mini-Cthulu.

  16. BOING BOING indeed. I’ll take the Bernadette Peters model at the bottom of the picture, even if that ass-grabby hag tags along.

  17. the witch is a metaphor for old age, from which all these beautiful voluptuous young woman are trying to escape.

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