temptations of Christ are by no means plain sailing for the reader
of the gospels. John is the most straightforward - he doesn't mention
them at all. Next comes this laconic account from Mark:
And immediately the spirit driveth him into the
he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was
with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. (Mark
1 v 12 - 13)
Matthew and Luke describe three different temptation events: in the
desert, on a mountain, on the pinnacles of the temple. But they do not
give them in the same order. It is desert - temple - mountain in
Matthew, desert - mountain- temple in Luke. The desert scene
is missing from the maesta; I've mentioned in my discussion of the
previous, blank panel the speculation that this did exist at one point.
Assuming that the two existing panels, temple - mountain, are in the original
order, Duccio is here following Matthew.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and
setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If
thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall
give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall
bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy
God. (Matthew 4 v 5 - 7)