Feb 15, 2019

The Temptation of St. Anthony

The Temptation of St. Anthony

19th century

Julien Léopold Boilly

(French, 1796–1874)

Black chalk with white, pink, orange, ochre, and brown chalks on blue paper

Sheet: 28.6 x 32.7 cm (11 1/4 x 12 7/8 in.)

Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2018.42



Boilly’s scene represents the Temptations of Saint Anthony, a biblical subject. While embarking on his desert pilgrimage through Egypt, Anthony experienced a series of supernatural trials. Here, Boilly illustrated a nude nymph attempting to seduce him. Anthony’s horrified reaction to the woman’s embrace and the prominent crucifix on the right create a humorous juxtaposition between piety and lustful desire.

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