Antony is a great figure of Christianism. He devoted most of his life to struggle against Satan and his demons. He also helped the Church to expand in Middle and East Africa.
But what is particularly interesting about St Antony character is the richness and breadth of the vision he inspired.
In the ninth chapter of Life of St. Anthony written in Greek around 360 by Athanasius of Alexandria, St. Anthony is attacked by the devil in the form of animals and beasts in the Egyptian desert and is levitated in the air by his practice of rigorous asceticism.
The earliest work to depict Saint Anthony being assaulted by demons is a wall painting in the atrium of Santa Maria Antiqua of the 10th century. The subject became one of the central theme of religious iconography during the late European Middle Ages, from around 1450.
The century following saw the most famous depictions in book illumination, prints and paintings. These include the depictions of Martin Schöngauer (ca. 1470), Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1505) and Mathias Grünewald (1512-1516), which belong to the best masterpieces in terms of demons’ representations.
- Saint Anthony Abbot Tempted by a Heap of Gold, Sienese, 15th-century
- The Temptation of St Anthony, a widely-circulated engraving by Martin Schongauer
- The Temptation of Saint Anthony (Michelangelo), a 15th-century painting by Michelangelo (his first), which was painted after the Schongauer engraving, in the Kimbell Museum in Ft. Worth.
- Triptych of the Temptation of St. Anthony, Hieronymus Bosch, c. 1501.
- The Temptation of St Anthony (Bosch painting), a 16th-century painting by Hieronymus Bosch or a follower, in the Prado Museum in Madrid.
- The Temptation of St Anthony, another Bosch version, in Kansas City
- Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald (1512-1516)
- The Temptation of St. Anthony, a 1547 painting by Pieter Huys
- The Temptation of Saint Anthony (Carracci), a 1598-1600 painting by Annibale Carracci
- The Temptation of St. Anthony, a 1645 print by Jacques Callot
- The Temptation of St. Anthony, a c. 1650 work by David Teniers the Younger
- The Temptation of St. Anthony, a 1650 painting by Joos van Craesbeeck
- The Temptation of Saint Anthony, several 17th-century paintings by Mattheus van Helmont
- The Temptation of St. Antonius, an 1887 painting by Paul Cézanne
- The Temptation of St. Anthony, an 1897 painting by Lovis Corinth
- The Temptation of Saint Anthony (Ernst painting), a 1945 painting by Max Ernst
- The Temptation of St. Anthony (Dalí), a 1946 painting by Salvador Dalí
- The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1942-5, a series of paintings by Michael Ayrton
- The Temptation of St. Anthony, a 1947 painting by Leonora Carrington
- The Temptation of Saint Anthony, a fictional modern painting featured in Kurt Vonnegut’s 1973 novel Breakfast of Champions.