“The Lisbon Temptation of St. Anthony by Jerome Bosch” (Charles D. Cuttler) 1957
[in: The Art Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 2 (June 1957), pp. 109-126]
[Also mentioned in Gibson 1983: 105-106 (E192)]
In this article, Cuttler briefly analyses the iconography of the Lisbon St Anthony triptych. As for the group to Anthony’s left in the central panel, Bosch is said to have been inspired by astrological engravings. This is also said to be true for other (though not all) details in the central panel. The iconographic program of the Lisbon triptych is governed by astrology and by the Seven Deadly Sins. Anthony, though (as a hermit) under the influence of Saturn and thus predestined according to astrology to an unfortunate life, nevertheless overcame the devil, the Seven Deadly Sins and the evil effects of the planets. The moralising content of the triptych was possibly influenced by the writings of Denys the Carthusion.
In 1965, Tolnay called Cuttler’s astrological interpretations ‘dubious identifications’. Tolnay believed that Cuttler ‘seems to have gone astray in his conception of the triptych as a whole. Many of his interpretations are unconvincing’ [Tolnay 1965: 357-358]. Cuttler’s article was reprinted in Cuttler 2012: 58-101, with some adaptations (omissions and additions).
[explicit 24th August 2017]