The Temptation on the Mountain

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The sea helps to expand the horizon of this image, increasing the territory offered to Christ by Satan, and thus increasing the potency of the temptation. The open water here creates a "stage" effect which Turner used in some of his other works: the "stage" created suggests future action. In this case, that action could be conquests on the sea. This vision of the temptation as extending to the open sea is eerily similar to the possibilities of conquest illustrated in British and American art during the Romantic era (J. Hamilton, Late Seascapes 34).