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ITALIAN SCHOOL. oocooo SALVATOR ROSA. cooooo FLORENCE GALLERY.

SAINT ANTONY

TORMENTED BY THE DEMON.

Although the temptations of saint Antony are often spoken of; although it is known that this pious monk at 18 years of age forsook the world to embrace a solitary life; although it is related that he had visions in which the demon haunted him with agreeables images of the times he lived in, and the wordly pleasures he could enjoy; notwithstanding it is asserted the wicked spirit represented to him in the most gloomy colours the privations penitence must entail upon him; and finally depicted, as a most dreadful thing, the desolate condition in which he had left a young sister who had no support but him; yet it may not be so well known, that the austerities he gave himself up to, and the absolute retirement to which he condemned himself in a tomb, the door of which he only opened to receive the humble food brought to him, occasioned this pious man new visions, during which the demon appeared to him under the most hideous forms, imitating the cries of animals the most hostile to mankind. In consequence of these visions, saint Antony was found senseless and conveyed into a church, where on recovering he had himself taken back to his abode amongst the rocks, upon which the demon returned to terrify him again, whom he drove away on shewing him the cross, on which he solely relied for security.

So singular a subject accorded well with the wild imagination of Salvator Rosa; and if he has not rendered it agreeable, he has at least made it interesting.

Height, 2 feet 1 inch; breadth, I foot 7 inches.

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