Henry Fuseli. The Three Witches (after 1783)

Oil on canvas, 30 x 36 inches. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Picture Gallery and Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon.

The source for the painting is Macbeth, Act I, scene iii, lines 39-47, when Banquo and Macbeth meet the Weird Sisters on the heath and Banquo says,

. . . What are these,
So wither'd and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips: you should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.