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The Temptation of St. Anthony

1 040,00 €

Cat No: 2289
Author: Mira Georgieva

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1 040,00 €

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Autor: Salvador Dali; Reproduction: Mira Georgieva

Techniques: oil on canava

Size: 128 х 86 cm; with frame

Movement: Surrealism




Dalí painted The Temptation of St. Anthony in 1946, in response to a contest held by the David L. Loew-Albert Lewin film production company for a painting of The Temptation of Saint Anthony, to be used in the film The Private Affairs of Bel Ami. This was the only art contest in which Dalí participated, and ultimately his painting was not chosen for the film.

The painting contains many surrealistic elements typical of his work. Significantly, it was the first of his pieces to exhibit his interest in the intermediates between Heaven and Earth. The painting is now at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, in Brussels, Belgium.

Artists and authors have long represented the temptation of St. Anthony in their art. The Temptation of St. Anthony is painted with oil on canvas. It depicts a desert-like landscape: a low horizon line with high clouds and dark, warm tones in an azure sky. The figure of St. Anthony kneels in the bottom left corner. He holds up a cross in his right hand and with his left hand supports himself on an ambiguous form. A human skull lies by his right foot. A parade of elephants led by a horse approach St. Anthony. The elephants carry symbolic objects representing temptation: a statue of a nude woman holding her breasts, an obelisk, a building complex confining a nude, disembodied female torso, and a vertical tower. The animals have exaggerated, long, spindly legs, making them appear weightless

The figure in genuflection is assumed to be St. Anthony, whose role, according to spiritual belief, is not to protect one from temptation so much as to be a conductor of the temptation. Here, he is seen as orchestrating the advancing parade of creatures, topped with various representations of erotic imagery. The rearing horse represents the fountain of desire. The obelisk mounted on the elephant's back is an homage to Elephant and Obelisk, the Roman obelisk designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The proceeding elephants carry structures reminiscent of the Palladium and the next with a phallic tower. In the clouds behind the elephants, glimpses of El Escorial can be seen, representing spiritual and temporal disorder.

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