The Timken Museum’s painting of the early Christian hermit, St. Anthony the Great, by Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo (c. 1515-20) attracts more than the passing attention of some visitors, many of whom take time to assess the artist’s message. Savoldo’s portrayal of the hermit running from a world of darkness and evil toward a peaceful world of goodness and beauty is especially intriguing because the hermit is not just escaping the evil darkness; he is also looking back at it. With regret? Was he possibly reneging on his choice to escape evil’s clutches? This famous 4th century hermit, later considered the founder of monasticism, has inspired paintings by many artists. This docent-led talk will survey some of those portrayals and the commentary they have inspired.
Speaker: Florence Gillman, Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies, USD