Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Not currently on view
Nicaea Turkey Nicomedia (or) Turkey (Place created)
early 13th century - late 13th century
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
Leaf: 20.6 x 14.9 cm (8 1/8 x 5 7/8 in.)
The full-page miniature of the Transfiguration is one of a series of illuminations representing events from Jesus' life in this Byzantine Gospel book. According to the evangelist Matthew, Jesus took the apostles Peter, James, and John to a mountain, where he was illuminated by a bright heavenly light. The Jewish patriarch Moses and the prophet Elijah then appeared and a voice from a cloud declared Jesus to be the son of God.
In the miniature, Jesus stands in a mandorla with the two Old Testament figures perched on mountain peaks on either side. The three apostles below react with dramatic expressions and gestures. The artist used vivid contrasting colors and careful modeling to give the figures a sense of three-dimensionality against the glowing gold background. The feast of the Transfiguration is one of the twelve major holidays of the Byzantine church, which explains why the subject received a lavish, full-page miniature in this book.
The Apocalypse and Other Visions in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts (April 16 to June 30, 1991)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 16 to June 30, 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
Faces of Power and Piety: Portraits in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (February 2 to April 18, 1999)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 2 to April 18, 1999
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261 - 1557) (March 15 to July 5, 2004)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), March 15 to July 5, 2004