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This is the first known painting by Michelangelo, described by his earliest biographers and believed to have been painted when he was twelve or thirteen years old. Although Michelangelo considered himself first and foremost a sculptor, he received his early training as a painter, in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio c. The rare subject is found in the life of Saint Anthony the Great, written by Athanasius of Alexandria in the fourth century, which describes how the Egyptian hermit-saint had a vision that he levitated into the air and was attacked by demons, whose torments he withstood.
Writing when Michelangelo was still alive, both Vasari and Condivi recounted that to give the demonic creatures veracity, he studied the colorful scales and other parts of specimens from the fish market.
He also included a landscape that resembles the Arno River Valley around Florence. The work is one of only four easel paintings generally regarded as having come from his hand and the first painting by Michelangelo to enter an American collection.
The Kimbell Art Museum is temporarily closed. Accession number. Gallery location. Share: Facebook icon Twitter icon. Children's: Torment of Saint Anthony. Audio file. Adult: The Torment of Saint Anthony. Scorzi collection, Pisa, s; from which acquired by Baron Henry de Triqueti , Paris, probably in ; his daughter, Mrs. Back to top.