Temptation of Christ on the Mountain

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Duccio, Temptation of Christ on the Mountain, 1308-1311
by MISSY ROSENTHAL

We all are easily enticed by the seemly handsome devil. A task or an action that we understand as immoral can seem like the right choice because it's simply easier in the short term. Whether it he dazzles you to be dishonest academically or socially, all of us can relate to Jesus' struggle in Duccio's masterpiece. Duccio brilliantly portrays the New Testament scene (Matthew 4:1-11) with tempera where the devil offers Jesus rule of the entire Earth. 

This piece showcases how Duccio’s work set the stage for future Renaissance paintings. While the artist still paints his central figures in a flat fashion, he incorporates new methods. Duccio uses the classic background yellow-grey background while including several new techniques. These styles include perspective and buildings with more two dimensional elements. 

The light focuses on the angels and shadow engulfs the devil while Jesus sits in-between. This emphasizes Jesus' juxtaposition. Duccio arranges the four figures in the piece in order of holiness the angels, Christ and Satan. Duccio humanizes Jesus, showing that he lies somewhere between good and evil.

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