This painting portrays one of three temptations that Christ faced during his forty days fast in the desert, narrated in Matthew 4:1-4. Christ is being tempted by a young demon that presents a stone and challenges Christ to perform the miracle of turning it into bread, thus proving that he is truly the Son of God. Christ refuses, saying, "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."Titian was the foremost painter of the Venetian school during most of the sixteenth century. Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, may have commissioned this painting in about 1516-25. It later passed through many distinguished European collections before entering the Institute's collection in 1925.