Temptation Of Saint Hilarion Analysis

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The oil painting “Temptation of Saint Hilarion” by Octave Tassaert was painted in 1857. When examining this art for the first time, the viewer is thrown into a world of color and emotion. As our eyes grow accustomed to the image, we start to understand the message behind the madness. In the next few paragraphs, we will analyze Tassaert work by looking in depth at the form, technique of the subject matter and the historical elements behind them. To begin, the art piece, “Temptation of Saint Hilarion” is 111.4 x 144.3 cm rectangle and its present location is at the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal in Canada. In the book ‘Painting, Spanish and French” by William Smith that Octave Tassaerts work resembles Prud’hon and Greuze in the subjects of …show more content…

When looking closer, the women near the saint are angelic looking, and as they dissipate in the background, the forms of women seem to vanish. None of the female figures touch the monk, but one offers a glass of amber liquid. The Tassaerts painting could be an allegory in the personal struggle with alcoholism, seeing the monk as sobriety and the women the darkness of alcohol use. The painting “Temptation of Saint Hilarion” is a mixture or Realism and Romanticism and the combination of the two create the depth of emotion of this painting. Baudelaire mentions “that Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject in exact truth, but in feeling.” ( Honour, p 14) The monk, a symbol of purity, could be the reason he painted the scene this way. At the moment the painting was being produced, The Crimean War was battled between Russia and France about the Russian Orthodox versus the Roman Catholic over privileges of churches in holy places in Palestine. (Britannica.com)Also during this time, The Second Empire of Napoleon was in process and education was being fought over between the state and

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