Museums and Art

“The Torment of St. Anthony”, Michelangelo Buonarroti - description of the painting

“The Torment of St. Anthony”, Michelangelo Buonarroti - description of the painting

The Torment of St. Anthony - Michelangelo Buonarroti. 47x35 cm

The torment of St. Anthony is one of the most controversial works of Michelangelo Buonarroti. No one can put the final point in the attribution of easel work. Researchers who recognize the painting as Michelangelo cite the fact that it was created in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio, where the young Michelangelo studied at one time. And stylistically this work is very close to the work of the master.

If we take it as an axiom that the torment of St. Anthony belongs to the famous genius of the Renaissance, then this is his earliest work, written at the age of 12-13 years, and also one of his four easel works that has been preserved. The famous author of the biographies of Renaissance artists, Giorgio Vasari also in his writings pointed to the authorship of Michelangelo.

The plot of the picture is based on a famous biblical story. Rev. Anthony, walking through the desert, resists the attacks of demons. The angels accompanying him all the journey leave Anthony, and he finds himself in a devilish ambush. Without a doubt, the picture was created under the impression of the engraving by Schongauer and largely repeats its composition.

However, the young man Michelangelo, taking the engraving as an example, significantly complements it with the help of color and texture. The master writes out the background (Schongauer does not have one), makes the face of the Monk Anthony more expressive, and also adds intimidation to the image of demons. In order to portray their disgusting scaly bodies as truthfully as possible, Michelangelo even went to the market and looked for suitable fish.

Interest in this painting resumed in 2008, when Torment was put up for auction. The author was not indicated, only the workshop, where the picture came from. Therefore, the product was sold for only 2 million dollars. The money is certainly serious, but Michelangelo in the art market is many times more. The lucky owner (name not disclosed) gave the painting for examination to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Scientists of this museum for the first time carefully and thoroughly studied the picture, which made it possible to make an encouraging "diagnosis" - this is Michelangelo. The style, time and hatching feature indicate this. However, controversy has not subsided. And very soon the picture was bought by the Kimbell Museum in Texas (USA), while the details of the transaction are kept secret. Rumor has it that the painting acquired for an amount exceeding $ 6 million.


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