The Devil with a Bagpipe

Martin Luther and the Reformation: the 500th Anniversary

The woodcut was created by Erhard Schoen in 1535. It shows that the Devil is speaking through monks. For those that could read there would be a short text in the corner denouncing a lie told by the Catholic Church. The drawing shows a caricature of the Devil playing a monk’s head as if it were bagpipes. Thus, the Devil is making the monk sing.

People often misconstrue this as anti-Luther propaganda because of the likeness of the monk’s head; however no printing of this leaflet with an anti-Luther message has been found. The head is believed to be that of a generic monk, not of Martin Luther himself.