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The Temptation of St Anthony (in the manner of Bosch)

Anonymous, latter 16th century

Image Size
Paper Type
Premium fine art paper: 100% cotton, acid-free, archival
Frame Type
Museum quality Giclée print
Premium fine art paper, 100% cotton, acid-free, archival
1" border
Image Size: 11.7" x 9" – Total Size: 13.7" x 11"
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St Anthony is seen at half length in the left foreground, sunk in prayer. A river with a small boat steered by a woman separates the foreground from the actual scene of temptation on the right of the composition. There a nude woman stands inside a house, the upper part of which takes the form of the head of an old woman upon whose head perches a dovecote, a sign of a brothel in the 16th century. A monastery is going up in flames in the background to the left of St Anthony, with bird-like devils flying around in the clouds of smoke. There is also a flying fish with a devil on its back and an owl, both heading towards the house. This particular owl can be interpreted as a symbol of temptation and seduction. There are three variants of this scene of The Temptation of St Antony. In addition to a slightly larger version in the Prado in Madrid, which is very similar to the one in the Rijksmuseum, there is another on canvas in the Escorial, in which the brothel is replaced by a crucifix. In the past, these three versions have generally been regarded as copies after a lost work by Bosch, but now evidence points to this not being the case.