The Torment of Saint Anthony
Intro To Art History
The Torment of Saint Anthony is the earliest known painting by Michelangelo. The artist was only twelve years old when he created this masterpiece, and the piece is now currently a part of the permanent collection at the Kimbell Art Museum. The painting shows demons and devils ambushing the Medieval Saint Anthony, in an ironically peaceful landscape. The compiling details of this painting emerges a dark and mysterious light that may depict how Michelangelo was feeling at the time of his creation. There are a few major compositional shapes that really stand out from the rest of the painting. The first is saint Anthony, who is wearing a black robe with a belt-like tassel. The belt is more detailed than the original tassels you would see today on a religious figure. The round halo shape surrounding his head symbolizes that Saint Anthony is a prestigious figure in the religious domain. The monsters have detailed wings, which represent fallen angels who have evolved into iniquity. A select few of the demons are portrayed with serpent-like features suggesting that they are located in the sea. It is said that Michelangelo would sit at fish markets to study so that he really would be able to emphasize the detail of the fish like structures in this specific painting. The painting contains several formal elements of great significance that convey the deepest meaning behind them. Saint Anthony, the main subject of the painting, is being wrenched and heaved in a range of conflicting directions by malevolent demons. Michelangelo painted the details of his face very carefully. Each strand of hair looks as if it was painted on one at a time to create a delicate wire-like beard making Saint Anthony seem more fragile. The robe that Saint Anthony is wearing, is very delicately draped, despite the edges, where the demons many hands are pulling and tugging at it. The viewer...
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