Inventory number
P02913
Author
Bosch, Hiernonymus (attribution)
Title
The Temptations of Saint Anthony Abbot
Chronology
1500 -1510
Technique
Oil
Support
Panel
Dimensions
70 cm x 115 cm
School
Flemish
Theme
Religion
On display
No
Provenance
Depositada en San Francisco el Grande, de Madrid en 1882; en 1930 pasó al Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, para volver definitivamente al Prado en 1948.

Wearing the habit of his order, the saint meditates in a prayerful way in the foreground, unaware of anything happening around him. He is identifiable by his customary symbols, the Greek letter tau painted in blue on his habit, and the staff on the stone. Monstrous beings and demons flutter around him, alluding to the temptations of evil. The house, whose fantastic roof is the head of an old woman, probably alludes to a house of prostitution, as is revealed by the swan emblem on its door. The young, naked woman in the doorway symbolizes the temptations of the flesh, which the saint decisively faces off. On the left, a monastery of his order is in flames —an allusion to their loosening of regulations.

A work of quality, this is unique among Bosch's paintings in its placement of the figure in the foreground. It has been considered a copy of a lost original, made during Bosch's lifetime, or a piece from his workshop.

 
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