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The temptation of Saint Thomas

  • 'The temptation of Saint Thomas' © Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro de Orihuela

    'The temptation of Saint Thomas' © Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro de Orihuela






Cultural background


Original title

La tentación de Santo Tomás
Diocesan Museum of Religious Art
Alicante - Alacant, Valencia

This splendid painting from the master Velazquez dates from shortly after his return from Italy in 1631.

The picture represents the moment in which the saint falls to his knees, while one angel supports him and another prepares to place on him the white cincture (a cord or belt made of linen or silk) of chastity, after withstanding temptation at the hands of a woman who is hurriedly leaving the spot having been threatened by a lighted firebrand.

The composition has a series of complex and highly elaborate geometric structures which all converge at the head of the mediaeval sage, whose face reveals the signs of his harrowing struggle against temptation. The door in the background through which the woman flees is an opening which amplifies the space in the scene, an example of technical virtuosity that Velazquez used on various occasions.

Details of the work


240 x 200 cm




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