Max Ernst. (1891 - 1976). Temptation of Saint Anthony. 1945. Surrealism.
This subject was the subject of many works which treat all of the topic of the temptation of Saint Anthony, Egyptian hermit, the first Christian monk.
Resulting from a family from easy landowners, Anthony joined, as of the age of 20 years, the school of an ascetic close to his village. Thereafter, he chooses an increasingly hard lifestyle, locked up successively in a tomb and a fort, fighting against various temptations. The hermits are known in many cultures. hindouism, Buddhism and even taoism Chinese. Jesus Christ sacrifices to this tradition while spending 40 days in the desert where it is attacked by the malignant one. The ascetic and contemplative modes rigorous are supposed to start an internal alchemy which transforms the body in order to reach immortality or the spiritual revelation. What interests the surrealist painter it is not the religious dimension it is the representation of temptations. The Painting with the baroco colors represents the female body of course but also fantastic animals symbols of the evil. The Saint in any event is represented with the shape of a head of monkey, it is all to say. Carpets in the shade, of the night-birds, the Amphibians, of molluscs and the shellfish, all having sudden changes, seem very aggressive. One finds of the bestiary of the Garden of the early delights of Hieronimus Bosch so that one can bring closer the various forms to each picture. Most worrying it is that the hermit is far from being alone. All seems alive, the forest of course, the trees, the rocks and these elements evoke either sexuality, or of the animals to the quarrelsome and supernatural forms.
The horizon is on one the higher third of the painting.
The eye is first of all attracted stalemate the female body in red in the center, then he notices the dark forms in the forest on the left, then he seeks the Saint who is in the center on the bridge of sight of the spectator. Then it explores the background which has 2 stretch of water before the sky. Most worrying it is that the hermit is far from being alone. All seems alive, the forest of course, the trees, the rocks and these elements evoke either sexuality, or of the animals to the quarrelsome and supernatural forms.
Two dark zones are on the left and right thirds encircling the saint. The disproportionate female body is on the low tension field between two natural points of interest. Impossible of step notices the curved and sensual forms.
The luminous zones occupy 2/3 of pictorial space.
The painting is built on the downward diagonal.
Repeat of color: The red of the nozzle in the tree is the repeat of color of lower clothing.
This creature with head of bird and the hairy body points out the birds which torture the men in the Garden of the Delights on the central panel and the right shutter of the triptych.
In the dream and for unconscious the animal becomes the symbol of what in us is overcome and of what remained wild. Of what our nature has of simpler but also of more incomprehensible. The animal symbol is rich, it expresses the force, the quality and the orientation of our instincts.
The scene is enlightened of in top on the left.
Colors : Various contrasts between complementary colors.
Similars Paintings :
Salvador Dali. Temptation of Saint Anthony. 1946.
Max Ernst Max. Ernst. Antipope. 1941-42.
Clic to see Analysis.
Hieronimus Bosch. Temptation of Saint Anthony.
Triptych. Central panel. 1501.