Temptation of Saint Anthony
Frans van den Wyngaerde, Flemish, 1614 - 1679. After a painting by David Teniers II, Flemish (active Antwerp and Brussels), 1610 - 1690.
Saint Anthony survived episodes of temptation and torture by demons while living as a hermit in the desert. The composition that Teniers used for his many scenes of Saint Anthony was surprisingly similar to those of his alchemist scenes, and this was deliberate, for the alchemist's virtue lay in his patience, hope, and concentration on his goal, which was partly spiritual or philosophical as well as physical.