“Dulle Griet” on a Raid before the Entrance to Hell

1651/59, Artist: David III. Ryckaert



“Dulle Griet” on a Raid before the Entrance to Hell

At the time of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, “Dulle Griet” – or mad Margaret – was the term used to describe the proverbial evil, cantankerous wife who oppresses her husband, is afraid of no one, and will even take on the devil himself. In this painting she is shown swinging her broom at all kinds of demons in front of the mouth of Hell, denoted by the fire on the left. However, she does not have magical powers, she is not a witch. But she was accused of avarice, symbolised here by various gold objects protruding from her apron.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kabinett 21

Object data

Object Name







David III. Ryckaert (1612 - 1661 Antwerpen) - GND


oak wood


Overall: 49 cm × 64 cm × 0,7 cm
Framed: 64 cm × 79,5 cm × 5 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 722


1780 Coll. Duke Carl of Lorraine, Brussels; acquired 1780

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