The Temptation of St. Anthony

The Temptation of St. Anthony by Salvador Dali

The Temptation of St. Anthony by Salvador Dali was produced in 1946 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Surrealism movement. The work can be viewed now at Musee Magritte Museum, Belgium


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): elephant, horse, temptation


The Temptation of St. Anthony is an oil painting produced in 1946 by Spanish painter Salvador Dali.

The Temptation of St. Anthony was Dalí’s work better known as the “Dalí Renaissance”.

The Temptation of St. Anthony depicted a landscape similar to desert. The landscape consists of a line seems to be a horizon with dark clouds at the top in the sky. At the bottom left hand side of the painting, a figure was kneeling holding a cross in right hand and from his left hand on the rock, he supports himself. The figure seems to be of Saint Anthony. A human skull lies at a distance shown between his two legs. A group of elephants with horses at the beginning approached Saint Anthony. They were carrying object which represents different figures, one with a nude woman holding her breast, other with a complex building confining a nude woman, another with an obelisk, a vertical tower. These elephants and horse were painted having very long and spindly legs.

David Loew Albert Lewin had organized a contest for his film production company for which Dali’s painted The Temptation of St. Anthony. The painting was supposed to be used in the film The Private Affairs of Bel Ami and many artists participated for the contest. Unfortunately, Salvador Dali painting was not chosen in the film and this was the only contest where Dali had participated in his entire life.

Salvador Dali was known as the surrealistic artist and many paintings contain surrealistic elements from his work. This painting was regarded as the first and foremost which lightened Dali’s interest between the earth and the heaven. The dimensions of the painting The Temptation of St. Anthony were 119.5 cm x 89.7 cm.

The work can be viewed at Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium



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