The National Museum of Western Art

update 03 April 2018

on display Permanent Collection

David Teniers, the Younger [Antwerp, 1610 - Brussels, 1690]

The Temptation of St. Anthony

Materials/Techniquesoil on canvas
Size (cm)80 x 110
InscriptionsSigned below in the middle: D. TENIERS. FEC
Credit LinePurchased
Collection NumberP.1991-0002
The Temptation of St. Anthony

While St. Anthony the Abbot was living as a hermit in the desert, the Devil sent temptations to test his faith. The white-haired saint is gazing toward a woman dressed in white, an incarnation of Lust. Seeking to seduce him, she holds out a goblet. The skull and hourglass beside St. Anthony represent vanitas (Vanity), while the crucifix and Bible symbolize salvation. They can be understood to point up the choice between worldliness and eternal life. The painter David Teniers was active in Antwerp in the mid to late seventeenth century. (Source: Gallery label, July 2016)


Coll. Scheneick, München; Karl Lengle, Frankfurt; Sotheby's, London, 3 April 1985, no. 68 (not purchased); Deborah Gage, London; Purchased by the NMWA, 1991.

Exhibition History

[Exhibition for Children] Exploring Mysterious Painted World, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 July 1995 - 10 September 1995
The Crossing Visions: European and Modern Japanese Art from the Collections of The National Museum of Western Art & The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 20 July 1996 - 8 September 1996, cat. no. 76
Voices Calling from the Unusual: Hirano Keiichiro's Selection of Western Art Masterpieces, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 8 April 2014 - 15 June 2014, cat. no. 10
[Prints and Drawings Exhibition] Dream Analysis Depicted: Dreams Seen Awake / Real Worlds Seen Asleep, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Prints and Drawings Gallery, 19 March 2016 - 12 June 2016, cat. no. 26


Annual bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. Nos. 25-26 (April 1990-March 1992), 1994, Nakamura, Toshiharu. New Acquisitions. David Ⅱ Teniers, 《The Temptation of St. Anthony》. pp. 12-14, List of New Acquisitions. p. 48, col. repr.
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 44, col. repr.

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