Daniel Mitsui  ~  Religious Artwork  ~  Original Drawings for Sale  ~  Temptation of St. Anthony



This drawing depicts St. Anthony of Egypt, one of the Desert Fathers and a founder of Christian monasticism. St. Anthony endured many demonic temptations and attacks while living as a hermit, which have inspired countless works of art. The most famous, perhaps, is the engraving by Martin Schongauer:

Although I imitated this composition somewhat in my picture, I drew in the style of Japanese woodblock prints, particularly those of the ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi. St. Anthony here wears a small gong around his neck, rather than the usual bell, and carries a striker in the shape of his familiar tau staff.

I added references to three other episodes in the life of the saint. In the bottom corners appear two creatures that St. Anthony encountered in the desert while on a journey to visit St. Paul the Hermit. According to St. Jerome:
All at once he beholds a creature of mingled shape, half horse half man, called by the poets Hippocentaur. At the sight of this he arms himself by making on his forehead the sign of salvation, and then exclaims, Holloa! Where in these parts is a servant of God living? The monster after gnashing out some kind of outlandish utterance, in words broken rather than spoken through his bristling lips, at length finds a friendly mode of communication, and extending his right hand points out the way desired. Then with swift flight he crosses the spreading plain and vanishes from the sight of his wondering companion. But whether the devil took this shape to terrify him, or whether it be that the desert which is known to abound in monstrous animals engenders that kind of creature also, we cannot decide.

Antony was amazed, and thinking over what he had seen went on his way. Before long in a small rocky valley shut in on all sides he sees a mannikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats’ feet. When he saw this, Antony like a good soldier seized the shield of faith and the helmet of hope: the creature none the less began to offer to him the fruit of the palm-trees to support him on his journey and as it were pledges of peace. Antony perceiving this stopped and asked who he was. The answer he received from him was this: I am a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours, who, we have learned, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth. As he uttered such words as these, the aged traveller’s cheeks streamed with tears, the marks of his deep feeling, which he shed in the fullness of his joy.
In an inset scene at the top left, I drew the saint tempted by a bowl of treasure that appeared in his path. Its frame is shaped like a pig’s silhouette, referring to the fact that St. Anthony is often depicted with a pig.

Medium: Drawing, color ink on paper
Dimensions: 8" × 10"
Year: 2024

The original drawing is available for sale for $2808. You may use the button below to pay via PayPal, debit card or credit card. Be sure to confirm the shipping address.

Price including shipping:

See this page for additional ordering instructions and general information. If you want to pay via a check or money order, please e-mail me at danielmitsuiartist at gmail dot com.

all works copyright Daniel Mitsui / danielmitsuiartist at gmail dot com