Think “Michelangelo” and “famous artwork”, and one likely envisions his Sistine Chapel ceiling and statues, like the Vatican’s Pieta and David in Florence.
Comparatively unknown, though, are four famous paintings by Michelangelo:
- The Torment of Saint Anthony
- The Manchester Madonna
- Holy Family (Doni Tondo)
The Torment of St. Anthony
Purchased in 2009 by the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, The Torment of St. Anthony has the distinct honor of being the sole Michelangelo painting in an American collection, and of being one of the most famous paintings in any U.S. art museum.
Asconio Condivi, Michelangelo’s student and subsequent biographer, recounts that Michelangleo was inspired by an etching, Martin Schongauer’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony, in Domenico Ghirlandaio’s workshop.
Curious to experiment with painting, Michelangelo visited a market to examine fish scales, details absent in The Temptationengraving. Condivi reports that Ghirlandaio was stunned at the brilliance of this Michelangelo painting – an appropriate reaction, given that Michelangelo was 12 or 13 when he painted The Temptation!