Temptation of St. Anthony (recto); Fantastic Landscape (verso)

Artist: Attributed to Jan Wellens de Cock (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1480–before 1527 Antwerp)

Date: ca. 1520

Medium: Pen, or point of the brush, and gray ink, heightened with white gouache, on green prepared paper; verso: pen and brown ink

Dimensions: 7 5/8 x 9 15/16 in. (19.3 x 25.2 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971

Accession Number: 1972.118.276

Description

This drawing depicts motifs associated with representations of the Temptation of Saint Anthony. The bearded saint kneels in prayer before a rock supporting a book, resistant to the torments and temptations offered by the surrounding figures. A couple approach Anthony from the left, while a variety of demons proceed past a tree toward him from the right. Though the image of the saint, his tormentors, and the burning building behind are in proper proportion to each other, they are not contiguous. The prominent, undefined areas of empty space on the sheet and the lack of relationship between the foreground figures and background, in particular, suggest that these motifs were not conceived in preparation for another work but were copied from an unknown source. The drawing style is consistent with works associated with Jan Wellens de Cock, an Antwerp-based painter and draftsman who had close ties to the Mannerist school in the early sixteenth century. The arrangement of motifs on the Museum's sheet is similar in conception to a 1522 woodcut by de Cock depicting the same subject.

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