Met Bares 1st Work by Michelangelo, 12
'St. Anthony Tormented by Demons' amazed young apprentice's master
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2009 1:30 AM CDT
This 1487 oil and tempera painting on a wood panel, "The Torment of Saint Anthony" is believed to be Michelangelo's earliest work.   (AP Photo/The Kimbell)

(Newser) – A work believed to be Michelangelo's first painting has made its American debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Times reports. St. Anthony Tormented by Demons, a customized copy of a German print, is thought to have been painted in 1487 when Michelangelo was a 12-year-old apprentice trying to prove he could make it as an artist. 

The Met's exhibition puts the work side-by-side with the template young Michelangelo used, noting the personal touches the artist added that would become themes throughout his career. Tests performed at the museum show that the young artist made many revisions to the painting before completion, repeatedly changing shapes and scraping away paint. The finished work left Michelangelo's workshop master unnerved at the display of skill, according to historians.