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Bay 30b - The Life of St Anthony of the Desert
(All images © Dr Stuart Whatling, 2009)
01 - Signature panel (Fishmongers) 02 - Signature panel (Fishmongers) 03 - Anthony and his sister enter a church during the Gospel reading 04 - Moved by the sermon, Anthony gives his fortune to the poor 05 - Anthony gives his young sister into the care of a convent 06 - Anthony learns from an elderly hermit in a neighbouring village 07 - Anthony learning about the eremitical life 08 - Anthony resisting the devil's temptations 09 - The devil tries to tempt Anthony in the form of a young woman 10 - Preparing for his retreat, Anthony instructs a friend to bring him bread 11 - Demons come to attack Anthony in his desert hermitage 12 - The friend who brings his loaves finds Anthony paralysed by the pain 13 - The devil's hordes thrash Anthony with whips 14 - Anthony lying like a corpse - and his friend carrying him back to the desert 15 - Anthony visits the hermit Paul and a crow brings bread for them both 16 - Anthony studying alone in his cell 17 - Anthony and Paul celebrate Mass together 18 - After leaving Paul, Anthony has a vision of angels bearing away his friend's soul 19 - A pair of lions help Anthony to bury Paul's body 20 - Anticipating his own death, Anthony gives his sheepskin cloak to Athanasius 21 - Anthony dies and his soul is carried to heaven
Index to panels:
01 - Signature panel (Fishmongers)
02 - Signature panel (Fishmongers)

03 - Anthony and his sister enter a church during the Gospel reading
04 - Moved by the sermon, Anthony gives his fortune to the poor
05 - Anthony gives his young sister into the care of a convent

06 - Anthony learns from an elderly hermit in a neighbouring village
07 - Anthony learning about the eremitical life

08 - Anthony resisting the devil's temptations
09 - The devil tries to tempt Anthony in the form of a young woman

10 - Preparing for his retreat, Anthony instructs a friend to bring him bread
11 - Demons come to attack Anthony in his desert hermitage
13 - The devil's hordes thrash Anthony with whips
12 - The friend who brings his loaves finds Anthony paralysed by the pain
14 - Anthony lying like a corpse and his friend carrying him back to the desert

16 - Anthony studying alone in his cell

15 - Anthony visits the hermit Paul and a crow brings bread for them both
17 - Anthony and Paul celebrate Mass together
18 - After leaving Paul, Anthony has a vision of angels bearing away his friend's soul
19 - A pair of lions help Anthony to bury Paul's body

20 - Anticipating his own death, Anthony gives his sheepskin cloak to Athanasius
21 - Anthony dies and his soul is carried to heaven

 

Overview:
The story of St Anthony, also known as Anthony the Great, Anthony Abbot and Anthony of the Desert, was first written down by his friend St Athanasius (Bishop of Alexandria), some time around 360AD. As the archetype of a highly ascetical school of monasticism (the so-called "Desert Fathers"), Anthony was a popular role-model for those medieval churchmen who favoured a return to a simpler kind of religious order - a movement which was about to give rise to the Fransiscan and Dominican orders).
Although this is often described as the "Window of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul", the presence of Paul the Hermit is secondary. He appears only in relation to his encounters with Anthony, who is, in narratological terms, the 'focaliser' of the narrative. For this reason I generally refer to it simply as "the Window of St Anthony".