The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Devil from the Earth

Object Details


The Devil from the Earth






London (probably), England (Place Created)


about 1255 - 1260


Tempera colors, gold leaf, colored washes, pen and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig III 1 (83.MC.72), fol. 21


Leaf: 31.9 × 22.5 cm (12 9/16 × 8 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

That great dragon was cast out [of heaven], that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth. (Apocalypse 12:9)

The illuminator depicted the devil, complete with horns and cloven hooves, holding a scimitar in one hand and a pitchfork in the other. He smiles gleefully at the prospect of his time on earth. An angel descending from the heavens holds a scroll recording the words that Saint John hears: "Ve terre et mari quia descendit diabolus ad vos habens iram magnam" (Woe to the land and sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath).

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
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003