The J. Paul Getty Museum

Christ in Majesty and the Four Evangelists with their Symbols

Object Details


Christ in Majesty and the Four Evangelists with their Symbols


Master of Jean de Mandeville (French, active 1350 - 1370)




Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1360–1370


Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 1, v1 (84.MA.40.1), fol. 1


Leaf: 34.9 × 26 cm (13 3/4 × 10 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

The Historical Bible opens with the frontispiece of Christ in Majesty, with the Four Evangelists writing their Gospels in the corners. Even though Jesus' story is not told until later in the biblical narrative, his representation here links the Old Testament creation story opening the Bible with Christ's future birth, emphasizing that each individual biblical narrative can be seen as part of the progression of Christian history.

The miniature features graceful figures wearing sinuous draperies painted in grisaille. This technique, popular in the 1300s, is characterized by the use of variations of a single color to suggest a sculptural quality. The figures appear before colorful decorative backgrounds of red or blue, with the whole framed by an elaborate quatrefoil structure.

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