Highlights of the month

St Anthony tormented by Demons

Anonymous; after Raphael de Mey (German, 1590; fl.)’s reverse copy after Martin Schongauer (German, ca. 1435/50–1491)
18th century, after 15th century original
Black ink on laid paper – Etching
10.7 x 7.8 cm
Study Collection – Prints and Drawings
This etching of St Anthony tormented by demons is an interesting example of fakes and copies in printmaking. It shows St Anthony levitating in the sky above a landscape as fantastical demonic creatures attack him. It is an anonymous eighteenth-century copy after an engraving by Raphael de Mey, made in 1590, which in turn is a reversed copy after Martin Schongauer’s iconic engraving dated 1470-75. Schongauer’s engraving was so popular that Michelangelo painted a copy of it. This eighteenth-century copyist added the monogram of Albrecht Dürer as it was very well known and Dürer prints were very popular and easier to sell. Photograph courtesy of the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, MUŻA, and Heritage Malta