The Temptation of Jesus Christ Icon
Have you ever seen the Temptation of Jesus Christ icon? In this blog post, we want to share with you some examples of the beautiful Eastern Orthodox icons depicting the scene of Christ’s temptation and also several notable paintings inspired by this story.
As you probably know, the Temptation of Christ is a Biblical narrative telling a very interesting and moral story about Satan’s attempt to make Jesus sin. According to the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. Mark, Satan appeared to Christ during His isolation in the Judean Desert after being baptized by St. John the Forerunner in the Jordan River. Jesus fasted for forty days and nights, and all this time, Satan tried to tempt Him. The texts tell us that Christ refused each temptation, making the Devil depart from Him, and then returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. This story is very important for the entire Christian world, so it is no wonder that it is often depicted in the religious icon paintings.
The Temptation of Jesus Christ icon
There are several variations of the Temptation of Jesus Christ icon. Some of them depict Christ standing in the desert, with angels to His right and Satan trying to tempt Him to His left. However, the most popular variation of this icon depicts the Baptism of Jesus with the scenes of His temptation on the borders (see photo above). The Temptation of Christ can also be part of a larger religious icon. For example, the scene below is part of the 17th-century hand-painted icon “Christ Pantocrator on Throne.”
“The Temptation of Christ” in fine art
In addition to the traditional variations of the Temptation of Jesus Christ icon, we want to share with you several beautiful paintings inspired by this story. Enjoy!
- “Christ Tempted by the Devil” (1818) by the American painter John Ritto Penniman (on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.)
- “Temptation of Christ” (1663) by the Flemish artist Philips Augustijn Immenraet (on view at the Museum of John Paul II Collection in Warsaw, Poland)
- “The Temptation of Christ” (c. 1500) by the Flemish painter Juan de Flandes (on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.)
- “The Temptation of Christ by the Devil” (1860) by the French painter Félix-Joseph Barrias (on view at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK)
- “The Temptation of Christ in a Wide Landscape” (1600-1630) by the Flemish painters Denis van Alsloot and Hendrick de Clerck (on view at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna, Austria)