COCK, Jan Wellens de
(b. ca. 1490, Leiden, d. before 1529, Antwerpen)

Temptation of St Anthony

c. 1520
Oil on panel, 60 x 46 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

This painting shows one of Antony's temptations, that of lust, which takes place in a dark and frightening setting, within a rocky landscape filled with monstrous beings. The female figures, contrasting with the ugliness of the rest of the scene, reproduce the ideal of northern beauty, albeit with a certain exaggeration of the forms. Jan Wellens de Cock shows a considerable debt to Bosch, who had also painted a series of The Temptations of St Anthony. The subject was a frequent one during this period in history.