A small picture called “The Torment of St Anthony” is on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and attracting much attention. It is a painted copy of an engraving which Michelangelo is thought to have done when he was around 12-13 years old.
Excluding frescos, only 4 of his paintings survive and many experts remain unconvinced that this painting is by Michelangelo. Others however, are convinced. According to contemporary accounts of the painter’s life, Michelangelo did intend to as a boy to paint a version of Martin Schongauer’s “St Anthony Tormented by Demons” and the painting was originally accepted as Michelangelo’s first. Doubts surfaced in the 19th century however and the painting was largely forgotten until it was recently acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas, for an undisclosed sum. Following restoration, cleaning and x-ray examinations, it is now throught that the picture might after all, be the earlierst example we have of Michelangelo’s work. “The Torment of St Anthony” will be on display until 7th September.