Temptation of St Anthony

The Temptation of St.Anthony


      The picture The Temptation of St.Anthony was Dali’s depiction of the temptation that St. Anthony faced when he was in the deserts of Egypt. The idea of the painting was first introduced in a 10th century A Italian Fresco painting. Symbolism tells the story of Anthony’s mental and spiritual torments throughout. On the right panel, Anthony attempts to look at the viewer, but his gaze becomes fixed on a table surrounded with curious creatures partaking in sin. The center panel, though, exemplifies Bosch’s attraction to the saintly ability of refusing temptation. Anthony kneels at an altar with his hand in the gesture of blessing, yet pointing at a miniature Christ and views back to the viewer. The Devil-Queen, other various temptations, and physical abuse are no match for his devotion, Bosch’s most optimistic subject.

      Dali’s piece is to read left to right, in that thought at first glance of the piece you take not of the title and know that in the bottom left corner is St. Anthony. St. Anthony hold a cross in his hand to   show the creatures that he wont be tempted because his relationship with Christ. He kneels to show the spirits that he respects their presents. He seems to overwhelmed   by the size of the large beast represented in his leaned back gesture. The white horse which is directly infront of St. Anthony is said to represent strength, also the horse is in the front of the line of creatures so this also depicts its strength. The gesture of the horse exudes viciousness hair flying in the clouds while the nostrils are fully flared. The elephants that follow behind are often used in Dali’s work. Elephants exude power. The first elephants back has a cup with hold a naked female figure. This may be the temptation of sexuality or lust. The three elephants that fall behind have Roman buildings and Monuments on their backs, this may represent the Roman government.