Saint Anthony, the Abbot of the Desert

As today is the feast day of St. Anthony the Abbot, I thought it best to honor him with this image of the poor fellow bedeviled by temptation.

The painting, now at the Kimball Art Museum is by the ridiculously young Michelangelo, 12 or 13, frankly all terribly depressing ; for more details read this 2009 New York Times article

Michelangelo Buonarroti

(1475-1564)

The Torment of St. Anthony

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

Once again faithful Vasari provides clues to this wonder, to Vasari’s glee the young fellow made a “perfect pen-and-ink copy” of the Martin Schongauer original. Working from a copper engraver the ambitious boy had purchased on his own, he dazzled his contemporaries and secured “considerable fame”. Not content to sit on his laurels (something I would be all too willing to do), the young Buonarroti quickly began a colored copy, according to Vasari:


“…in order to copy some of the strange looking demons in the picture he went along to the market and bought some fishes with fantastic scales like theirs.”

Detail of “fantastic scales”

source, NYT, click for more details

Given the blessed abbots desire for solitude, I think he makes a wonderful patron for artists; I am deeply drawn to images of the saint happily ensconced in his charming hermitage, a decorative skull comfortably placed on his rustic worktable. Perfection.

This weekends paper had an article concerning solitude and creativity, it only confirmed my own beliefs; if you wish, check it out with this link.

Those familiar with my blog know my penchant for George Méliès, I wasn’t going to replay this St. Anthony clip, but since I saw Hugo this weekend I really could not resist. It is incredibly delightful and funny.

For those inclined to something less irreverent, here are two prayerful clips, less fun but…

and

I will now close, must dash off to the gym, then lock myself in my hermitage; I happen to have a skull- fuschia, with glitter.

Anthony would have approved.

Happy Feast Day Saint Anthony!

Take care,

Babylon Baroque


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6 Responses to “Saint Anthony, the Abbot of the Desert”

  1. I like the way you cover so many points of view in your posts, this one is a particularly good example of such.

  2. I’m glad you liked Hugo! I saw it twice, it’s great fun. And so cool to see those old film clips on a big screen!

    (I also agree with Planet.R, the eclectic and occasionally stream-of-consciousness qualities of your posts make them that much more enjoyable. So there!)

  3. babylonbaroque Says:

    We really loved Hugo, felt it to be delightful. And yes, seeing the films on a big screen was enchanting. I particularly loved the lobster costumes.
    I always love hearing from you, I am so pleased we know one another.
    Take care friend,
    LG

  4. Hugo rocks!

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