Description of the picture:
The temptation of St. Anthony is Salvador Dali. 1946. Oil on canvas. 89.5×119.5
In 1946, American film producer Albert Levine announced a competition to create the image of a tempted saint for the film based on Guy de Maupassant’s novel “Dear Friend” (Max Ernst became the winner). This competition was written painting “The Temptation of St. Anthony” (1946, Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels). The image of this saint was repeatedly used in art before Dali. For example, his beloved Bosch created a triptych on a similar topic, a work with the same name is also found in Cezanne.
As is known, St. Anthony – an early Christian ascetic, a hermit who lived in the desert in the III – IV centuries. Satan, tempting the righteous, sent him all kinds of seductive sinful visions. Once the unclean himself appeared to the reverend in the form of a most beautiful naked virgin (she, in a very erotic pose standing on an elephant, can be seen in the picture). However, not a single trick of the devil was successful.
On the Dali canvas, these sins are borne by animals on thin spider legs. Give in to the saint at least for a minute – and the legs will break, and sins will fall on the ground, on Anthony himself."