The Torment of Saint Anthony

The Torment of Saint Anthony
Artist Michelangelo
Year c. 1487–1488
Medium Oil and tempera on panel
Location Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas
Dimensions 18.5 in × 13.25 in
47 cm × 35 cm

The Torment of Saint Anthony by Michelangelo is the earliest painting that was done by this artist. It has very intricate details throughout the piece and was created somewhere between 1487 and 1488. It currently hangs in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas where it is part of a permanent collection. It passed hands from American art dealers to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York before it arrived to this destination after being sold. It was sold for over $6 million dollars, but the exact amount is not known.

What Does This Painting Look Like?

The Torment of Saint Anthony features Saint Anthony being attacked by demons because he resisted their temptations. Anthony is on a rocky area half way in the air surrounded by several demons that all have grimacing looks on their faces. Below the jagged rocks is a large body of water with mountains that are far away in the background. Even the teeth of the demons were made in high quality detail to show how sharp and jagged they were.


The size of this piece is 18.5 inches by 13.25 inches. It was painted with oil and tempera on panel. Experts were able to determine it was painted by Michelangelo because of the emphatic cross hatching style he used when painting. This piece is one of only four panel paintings that still exist from the artist Michelangelo.

Why Was It Created?

This painting was created when Michelangelo was only 12 or 13 years old. He made it after he saw a similar image on an engraving that was made by Martin Schongauer. He added more details than were in the engraving, which include fish scales and a landscape below the figures in the piece. The saint also has a different expression on Michelangelo’s piece than he did in Schongauer’s work.