Cain and Abel Offering Gifts

Object Details

Title:

Cain and Abel Offering Gifts

Artist/Maker(s):

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

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1360 - 1370

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

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

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Kneeling before a pink altar, Cain and Abel offer the fruits of their labor in sacrifice to God: a sheaf of wheat from Cain and a lamb from Abel. The repetition of the figure of God in the arc of heaven above allows the artist to show that God was pleased with Abel's sacrifice and dissatisfied with Cain's. From the left, God smiles down diagonally on Abel at the right. The figure of God to the right covers his face in displeasure as the bearded Cain at the left vainly looks up for approval. Jealousy over God's preference for Abel led Cain to kill him, committing the Bible's first murder.

Related Works
Exhibitions
The Art of Giving in the Middle Ages (November 21, 2000 to February 4, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 21, 2000 to February 4, 2001
Stories to Watch: Narrative in Medieval Manuscripts (February 22 to May 15, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 22 to May 15, 2011