The Torment of Saint Anthony (c. 1487-¬88), an oil and tempera on a panel, is believed to be the first painting by Michelangelo inspired by an engraving by Martin Schongauer (c. 1470-75) when Michelangelo was 12 or 13 years old (Vogel. 2009). It is one of the four surviving panel paintings by Michelangelo, who, according to one biographer, had spoken with disdain of oil painting in later life.
It was purchased by an American art dealer at a Sotheby’s auction in July 2008 for $2MM. It was brought to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where it was cleaned of grime, overpainting and discoloration. It was examined by infrared reflectogram and x-rayed for the first time and, on the basis of stylistic hallmarks such as “emphatic cross-hatching,” such as on the face of the saint, it was confirmed to be a Michelangelo (Michelangelo, n.d.).
The painting depicts a pale St. Anthony, who was a mystic and possessed the gift of levitation, floating in mid-air being accosted and attacked by several demons, one holding a fiery torch. A correction to the upper curve of one...
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