Devil playing the bagpipe

August 10, 2006


Here is a marvelous image of the devil playing the bagpipe by Erhard Schön from ca. 1530. Guilia Bartrum explains the image in “German Renaissance Prints: 1490-1550” (pg. 95).

This image was used as a broadside by the “reformers” against the Roman Catholic Church. The lower right hand corner is where they would put messages of dissent before they posted these around the town. The image depicts the Devil playing a monk like a bagpipe, reinforcing the idea that monks were instruments of the Devil. Being that Martin Luther was a monk, many believe that this is a caricature of him, however, “no such print is known with the addition of a suitable anti-Lutheran text.”

For more amazing pictures of bagpipes and their long and bizarre past, visit Bagpipe Iconography.

[Note: I posted this picture a few weeks back. This is a better copy of the picture and the explanation was useful, so I’ve republished it.]

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