This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
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.
Not currently on view
Unclean Spirits Issuing from the Mouths of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet
London (probably), England (Place created)
about 1255 - 1260
Tempera colors, gold leaf, colored washes, pen and ink on parchment
Leaf: 31.9 x 22.5 cm (12 9/16 x 8 7/8 in.)
In the Apocalypse, his vision of the end of time, Saint John the Evangelist described how seven angels delivered the last seven plagues to the earth in vessels identified as the "Wrath of God." This miniature shows the result of releasing the contents of the sixth vessel: "And I saw [come out] from the mouth of the dragon, and the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs." The depiction of the great red dragon and the leopardlike beast is based on details provided in the text. The artist represents the false prophet, whose physical appearance is not described, with a beaked nose, simian body, cloven hooves, and diabolical-looking red talons. With splay-legged frogs flying from their mouths, these three creatures confront Saint John, who stands to the left. He raises his left arm in defense while with his right hand he pulls on his forehead, as if he must force his eyes open to witness the terrors that have come to the earth as part of the Last Judgment. This gesture draws attention to the saint's large open eyes, emphasizing the role of sight in visionary experience.
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
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
Medieval Beasts (May 1 to July 29, 2007)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 29, 2007