The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Temptation of Saint Anthony

Object Details

Title:

The Temptation of Saint Anthony

Artist/Maker:

Lieven van Lathem (Flemish, about 1430 - 1493)

Culture:

Flemish

Place:

Antwerp (illuminated), Belgium; Ghent (written), Belgium (Place Created)

Date:

1469

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, silver paint, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 37 (89.ML.35), fol. 33

Dimensions:

Leaf: 12.4 × 9.2 cm (4 7/8 × 3 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

Saint Anthony looks up from his prayer book and rosary to see a beautiful woman offering a chalice. Anthony Abbot withdrew to the Egyptian desert in the 300s to live a hermit's life. According to his biographer, Anthony endured many assaults from the devil in the form of seductive and horrible visions. Here the illuminator, Lieven van Lathem, presented the saint's desert retreat as if it were situated outside a prosperous Flemish town of the 1400s, while the alluring woman is shown in fashionable attire of the time. Anthony wears the black robe of the order of Hospitallers, which took Saint Anthony as its patron saint. Given a papal dispensation that allowed their pigs to roam freely in medieval towns, the order took on the animal as its emblem. In this miniature van Lathem has depicted a pig at Anthony's side.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands (August 24, 2010 to February 6, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 24, 2010 to February 6, 2011