The Torment of Saint Anthony, by Michelangelo

The Torment of Saint Anthony is the first known painting by Michelangelo, described by his earliest biographers, Giorgio Vasari, 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, a leading master in Florence.

The painting shows the common medieval subject, included in the Golden Legend and other sources, of Saint Anthony (AD 251 - 356) being assailed in the desert by demons, whose temptations he resisted; the Temptation of St Anthony (or "Trial") is the more common name of the subject. But this composition apparently shows a later episode where St Anthony, normally flown about the desert supported by angels, was ambushed in mid-air by devils.

An infrared reflectogram of the same picture, which shows the two types of underdrawing Michelangelo used prior to painting. A brush in a liquid medium for the outlines of the figures and draperies, and a combination of parallel- and cross-hatching for the landscape and rocky outcrop.