The Miracle of the Gadarene Swine

Object Details

Title:

The Miracle of the Gadarene Swine

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Anglo-Saxon

Place(s):

Canterbury (?), England (Place created)

Date:

about 1000

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 31.3 x 18.1 cm (12 5/16 x 7 1/8 in.)

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In the center of this miniature removed from a Gospel book and depicting the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine, Jesus and his followers confront two men whose half-dressed, unkempt state indicates that they are possessed by evil spirits. Jesus performs an exorcism, transferring the demons into a herd of swine. Matthew the Evangelist wrote that the herd of swine then "ran violently down a steep place into the sea," where "they perished in the waters." The illuminator closely followed the story as Matthew described it, depicting the swine hurtling down the cliff into the sea at the bottom of the page. At the top right, shepherds run to the city to report the miracle.

The artist arranged the scene in three horizontal bands, keeping the main focus on the middle figures, whose emphatic gestures and tense body movements recount the vivid story.

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Exhibitions
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 19 to October 10, 1993, (Cat.)
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998, (Cat.)
Seeking Illumination: Monastic Manuscripts, 800 - 1200 (March 23 to June 13, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 23 to June 13, 2004, (Cat.)
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007, (Cat.)