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Temptation of St. Anthony

about 1940
Ellen Auerbach (American (born Germany), 1906–2004)


Image/Sheet: 27.5 x 20.6 cm (10 13/16 x 8 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, three-color carbro print

Not On View


Americas, Photography



Ellen Auerbach, a modernist photographer who was active on both sides of the Atlantic, created works characterized by inventive exploration of new techniques and visual effects. She made this unique carbro print after fleeing Nazi Germany and eventually settling in the United States. The complex carbro process involved the meticulous layering of three different colored emulsions, which enhanced the uncanny juxtaposition of a reclining female nude and a city street in this modern interpretation of the temptation of St. Anthony. The life of the fourth-century ascetic, who was severely tested by worldly things and the weaknesses of the flesh, was a timeless subject that appealed to Auerbach and resonated with Surrealist painters, including Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst.


Signed by artist on the verso


Gerd Sander, 1980; private collection; gift May 1995.

Credit Line

Anonymous gift


© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.