His story becomes a living human parable, populated by impossible creatures and events, such as the ones I've described, illustrating a grander psychological reality. And the idea passes down through history, transforming naturally with the passage of each era and in the translation through each unique artistic voice. The Temptation of Saint Anthony has been immortalized for the past six-hundred years by master painters from every generation, stretching all the way from Bosch to his twentieth century descendants in Dalí, Carrington, and Ernst. Even the Renaissance Master Michelangelo's first painting, when he was just 13 years of age, was a rendition of Schongauer's copper engraving of Saint Anthony. And it's influence of course hasn't been isolated to the world of painting, Gustave Flaubert alone spent the years of his life from the ages of 24 to 53, just 4 years short of his death, drafting and redrafting his novel based on the story. He considered The Temptation of Saint Antony his greatest achievement and, quite literally, his life's work.
And it's in these transformations and mutations down through time that I think the real magic lies; the true fulfillment of Saint Anthony's lifelong journey, his walk across the delerious desert landscape which stretches now endlessly, along with his ultimate triumph, through the infinitude of human expression.Read More