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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Temptation on the Pinnacle

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851
The Temptation on the Pinnacle circa 1834
Pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper
support: 212 x 160 mm
on paper, unique
Tate Britain, London


The Temptation on the Pinnacle, engraved by F. Bacon published 1835
Engraving on paper
on paper, print
Tate Britain, London


Turner contributed three designs for 'Paradise Lost' and two episodes from 'Paradise Regained' for Macrone's 1835 edition of Milton's 'Poetical Works'.

This vignette shows the third and final temptation endured by Christ in the wilderness, when challenged by Satan to throw himself down from the highest pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Turner depicts the moment of Christ's triumph over Satan who can be seen hurling himself away from the scene in anger and frustration.