Robert Auer - Temptation of Saint Anthony (1917)
Luis Ricardo Falero - Faust's Dream (1880)
Today's December Double, 'Temptation of Saint Anthony' by Austria painter Robert Auer and 'Faust's Dream' by Spanish painter Luis Ricardo Falero, respectively use religious and literary episodes as pretense for works which appeal to more worldly sensibilities. Scholarly portrayals of Saint Anthony and Doctor Fausts's experiences probably weren't the driving ambition behind these paintings, as Auer and Falero were arguably more enamored with the sensuality of their nude female subjects, however I don't look on this negatively. On the contrary, their preoccupation with the flesh is so obvious that it feels brazenly honest, whereas a more subdued painting based this same subject matter may contain political or moral agendas on behalf of the artist or his employer. Sometimes naughty works are the most forthcoming.
Between these two painters, both of whom are identifies for their works showcasing nudes, I tend of favor Falero for his imaginative perspectives, atypical compositions, and realistic rendering of form. His primary subject matter seems to have been taken from mythology or inspired by the orient, creating wild, fantastic imagery that feels remarkably modern. By contrast, Auer worked in an Art Noveau style and primarily concerned himself with erotic work. A quick search of his paintings will show that his output often crossed the line into illustrating explicit sexual acts, with varying degrees of tastefulness. His ‘Temptation of Saint Anthony’, abound with lustful figures—some playfully posing for the viewer—seems to capture him at his most restrained.
At any rate, both works would serve as wonderful decorative pieces. Question is, where would you hang them in your home?