This is a late work by Van Helmont, who is foremostly known for his genre scenes and depictions of Flemish peasant life in the 17th Century. After working in Antwerp at the beginning of his career, the artist moved to Brussels before 1674. As stated by Jan de Maere, Van Helmont was initially influenced by the work of David Ryckaert III (1612-1661) and David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), and towards the end of his life developed a more personal style that shows greater quality than before, as can be seen in this painting (see J. de Maere & M. Wabbes, Illustrated Dictionary of 17th Century Flemish Painters, text vol., Brussels 1994, p. 207).
There are two other representations of The Temptation of St. Anthony known by the artist, one, signed and dated 1679, sold in these Rooms, 12 May 1992, lot 96, and the other sold Amsterdam, Christie's, 6 November 2000, lot 75.
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