The Temptation of Saint Antony, 1635

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Saint Antony was a hermit whose ascetic lifestyle sometimes led to demonic and erotic hallucinations, which is the unfortunate situation he faces here. While he cowers in a shallow cave on the right, a magnificent devil torments him by hurling snakes, grotesque reptiles, and fire at him. This decidedly theatrical print may have its roots in Jacques Callot's early commission etching the extravagant pageants staged by the vain Cosimo II de' Medici. But it may also reflect another fact of Callot's life: Saint Antony was the patron of plague sufferers, and the artist's father had died of the plague a few years before this print was made.

The Temptation of Saint Antony
Artist Life
Accession Number
William M. Ladd
Catalogue Raisonne
Lieure 1416 v/v; Meaume 139 iii/iv; Russell 139
Curator Approved

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