Border with a Scene from the Life of Gideon

Object Details

Title:

Border with a Scene from the Life of Gideon

Artist/Maker(s):

Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)

Culture:

Flemish

Place(s):

Bruges, Belgium (Place created)

Date:

about 1525 - 1530

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 16.8 x 11.4 cm (6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.)

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The Old Testament judge and warrior Gideon kneels in the bottom corner, watching as the fleece he has laid on the ground receives rain from an angel. In order to determine by sign whether or not God would deliver Israel, Gideon had proposed to God that the wetting of the fleece while the ground around it remained dry would signify God's promise of action. Christians came to see this event as a prefiguration of the Annunciation, when God again delivered humanity, this time through Christ. This page faces the manuscript's Annunciation miniature, and its text focuses on the subject of God's redemption of humanity. In both images, Simon Bening used golden rays of light to represent divine intervention.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Vie a mon desir: Illuminated Manuscripts and Their Patrons (April 18 to July 2, 1989)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 18 to July 2, 1989, (Cat.)
Ludwigslust: Die Sammlung Irene und Peter Ludwig (June 19 to October 10, 1993)
  • Germanisches Nationalmuseum, (Nuremberg), June 19 to October 10, 1993, (Cat.)
Artful Reading in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (December 18, 2001 to March 10, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 18, 2001 to March 10, 2002, (Cat.)