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Moses and the Ark of the Covenant
about 1400 - 1410
Tempera colors, gold, silver paint, and ink on parchment
Leaf: 33.5 x 23.5 cm (13 3/16 x 9 1/4 in.)
Below on the right, following his descent from Mount Sinai to deliver the Law to the Israelites, Moses is depicted with horns, a tradition that grew from a misunderstanding of the biblical text that describes rays of light emanating from his head.
At the top of the miniature, the Ark of the Covenant containing the Tablets of the Law stands on the summit of Mount Sinai. For his representation of the ark, the artist drew upon biblical accounts describing its golden material, shape, and the cherubim affixed to the corners. Although the three scenes are not explicitly linked, the importance of the ark to the whole Moses story is made clear by its commanding position in the miniature.
Recent Acquisitions of Illuminated Manuscripts, 1984-1989 (July 17 to September 30, 1989)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 17 to September 30, 1989
A Thousand Years of the Bible: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (January 15 to March 31, 1991)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 15 to March 31, 1991
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
Shrine and Shroud: Textiles in Illuminated Manuscripts (June 28 to October 2, 2005)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 28 to October 2, 2005