Friday, August 27, 2010

The Temptation of Christ on the Mountain

Title: The Temptation of Christ on the Mountain

Artist: William Hole

Medium: Printed book illustration

Size: 29 x 24 cm

Date: c.1905

Location: From “The Life of Jesus of Nazareth Portrayed in Colours.” London: Eyre & Spottiswoode.

Matthew 4:8-10: Again the devil takes him to a very high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory, and says to him, All these things will I give thee if, falling down, thou wilt do me homage. Then says Jesus to him, Get thee away, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt do homage to the Lord thy God, and him alone shalt thou serve.

Satan tempted Christ to idolatry with the offer of the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary. Christ was tempted to worship Satan. He rejected the proposal with abhorrence. Some temptations are openly wicked; and they are not merely to be opposed, but rejected at once. It is good to be quick and firm in resisting temptation. If we resist the devil he will flee from us. But the soul that deliberates is almost overcome. We find but few who can decidedly reject such baits as Satan offers.

William Hole (b. Salisbury 1846 – d. 1917) relocated to Edinburgh as a youth where he received his education at the Edinburgh Academy. But after serving as an apprentice to a civil engineer in the city, he decided that he wanted to see more of the world. While traveling through Italy he befriended some artists in Rome who convinced him that he should pursue a career in art. On returning to Edinburgh, he began formal training in both painting and etching at the Royal Scottish Academy. In the early 1900's Hole actually travelled to the Holy land and painted his pictures on the spot. Even depicting such amazing events as Jesus’ temptation by the devil, these pictures still retain an air of authenticity.

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