Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Temptation on the Pinnacle c.1834

Artwork details

The Temptation on the Pinnacle
Date c.1834
Medium Graphite, watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions Support: 212 x 160 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1991
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

In addition to three designs for 'Paradise Lost' (see no.54), Turner contributed two episodes from 'Paradise Regained' for Macrone's 1835 edition of Milton's 'Poetical Works'. This vignette shows the third and final temptation endured by Christ in the wilderness, when challenged by Satan to throw himself down from the highest pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem. Turner depicts the moment of Christ's triumph over Satan who can be seen hurling himself away from the scene in anger and frustration. This new acquisition fills an important gap in the Gallery's representation of the later period of Turner's involvement in book illustration.

February 1992

About this artwork