TEMPTATIO IESU CHRISTI LATORIS EVANGELICAE LEGIS
Collections OnlineSistine ChapelNorth wallStories of Christ

TEMPTATIO IESU CHRISTI LATORIS EVANGELICAE LEGIS

The title over the fresco ("TEMPTATIO IESU CHRISTI LATORIS EVANGELICAE LEGIS") refers to the Temptations of Christ described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 4:1-11), even if these are placed in the background, where they are shown in three successive scenes. On the upper left Christ meets the devil, in the form of a hermit, who asks him for a miracle in order to tempt him. In the centre Satan on top of the pediment of a temple which recalls the Santo Spirito Hospital (near the Vatican), the construction of which was promoted by Sixtus IV, challenges Jesus to throw himself off. Lastly, on the right, Jesus makes the devil fall from a cliff. A sacrificial rite is shown in a prominent position, in the foreground. This is usually interpreted as that offered by the leper after he was healed by Christ (Matthew 8: 1-4; Mark 1: 40-45; Luke 5: 12-16). Some also see a symbolic value in this scene and they identify the high priest with Moses and the youth with Christ, who will redeem mankind with the sacrifice of his own blood.