Main Retable of Oviedo Cathedral: Detail, the temptation of Christ

Cathedral of St. Savior, Oviedo, Spain

The temptations of Christ are recounted in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. Here the devil offers Jesus a stone and challenges him to turn it into bread "if thou be the Son of God." The single stone in his hand reflects Luke 4:3, which speaks of "this stone." Perhaps the additional stones on the ground are the artist's tip to Matthew 4:3, where the devil speaks of "stones," plural.

The devil is represented as a grotesque, a medieval custom that had become less common by the time of this work.

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Read more about the Temptations in the Desert.

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.