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Martin Schongauer Saint-Antoine aggressed by the devils

Martin Schongauer Saint-Antoine aggressed by the devils

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The Temptation of St. Anthony is an engraving, probably created c. 1470-75, by Martin Schongauer of this popular scene in 15th-century art. In it grotesque demons swarm around Saint Anthony the Great, bursting with movement and energy as the saint calmly resists their temptations or blows. St. Anthony is shown with some of his signature attributes, dressed in a monk's religious habit and cowl, carrying a staff with a tau-shaped handle and his bound girdle book hanging from his belt. The literary source from which this image derives is debated. The image could depict chapter 65 from Athanasius's Life of St. Anthony, where the hermit has a vision of himself floating through the air and undefined beings prevent him from ascending back to reality or it could show the ninth chapter of Athanasius's Life of St. Anthony, where St. Anthony is attacked by the devil in the form of animals and beasts in the Egyptian desert and is levitated in the air by his practice of rigorous asceticism.

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