What gender is the devil

Three old women beat the devil


Three old women hold the devil with their hands and feet, two of them hit him with boards. Demonic figures watch the devil's misfortune in horror or even gleefully. Around his right wrist lies a banner with the request "GIB FRID"; he should stop sexually harassing women.
The devil is composed of different parts of the body of human and animal nature. Head, back, tail and claws are like a dragon. The joints are designed as birds of prey heads. It also has sex characteristics developed as animal heads, the female breasts resemble falcon heads. The male sex is shaped like a boar's head. The realistic background conveys current presence rather than superstitious fiction. In the 16th century it was believed that the devil could meet man directly. It was assumed that women would succumb to the mortal sin of lust more easily than men. Hopfer describes the victory over lust and the devil in a grotesque and amusing way.

Material / Technique

Iron etching


Sheet size: 23 x 15.8 cm; Plate size: 22.5 x 15.3 cm


  • Kuder, Ulrich (Ed.) (2004): The human mind is changeable, prints from the Dürer period. Kiel ( KVK)

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