Object Image

The Temptation in the Wilderness

Briton Rivere was a technically sophisticated and talented artist, best known for his animal paintings. The biblical subject refers to the 40 days and 40 nights Christ spends in the desert being tempted to misuse his power by Satan. The painting is far more impressionistic than Rivere's other works, perhaps even experimental. The white figure of Christ stands out against the rich glow of the sky, with both sky and figure focused by the gloom of the landscape. Underneath, barely visible, a lone fox stalks off to the left, so that even this sparse, atmospheric religious scene contains one of Rivere's animals. The bright star overhead seems to be the sole point of focused light, and may in fact be...

Oil on canvas
1535.0 x 2273.0 x 90.0 mm
Images and text © Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, 2017

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