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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

Description

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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