Temptation of Saint Anthony in visual arts  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Temptation (or Temptations) of St. Anthony is a popular theme in the history of Western art. Many visual artists have depicted these incidents from the life of Saint Anthony as told in Life of Antony.

Some of the stories of the demons and temptations that Saint Anthony is reported to have faced are perpetuated now mostly in paintings, where they give an opportunity and pretext for artists to depict their more lurid or bizarre fantasies. Emphasis on these stories, however, did not really begin until the Middle Ages, when the psychology of the individual became a greater interest.

Contents

History

10th century

The subject of Saint Anthony was first presented in the 10th century at Italian fresco paintings. In the European Middle Ages one can watch an accumulation of the theme in book illumination and later in German woodcuts.

Middle Ages

About 1500 originated the famous prints and paintings of Martin Schöngauer (ca. 1490), Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1505) and Matthias Grünewald (ca. 1510).

17th century

19th century

20th century and contemporary art

Dalí

Modern Spanish painter Salvador Dalí drew a great deal of inspiration from Bosch's work, which had many of the features that acted as precursors to Dalí's own surrealism. Dalí's version depicts St. Anthony resisting temptations associated with a spider-legged horse and elephants. The "space elephants," distorted offspring of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's elephant and obelisk, are a motif in Dalí's work.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Temptation of Saint Anthony in visual arts" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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