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The Miracle of the Gadarene Swine
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Unknown
Anglo-Saxon, possibly Canterbury, about 1000
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
12 5/16 x 7 1/8 in.
MS. 9, LEAF 1

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In the center of this miniature removed from a Gospel book and depicting the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine, Jesus and his followers confront two men whose half-dressed, unkempt state indicates that they are possessed by evil spirits. Jesus performs an exorcism, transferring the demons into a herd of swine. Matthew the Evangelist wrote that the herd of swine then "ran violently down a steep place into the sea," where "they perished in the waters." The illuminator closely followed the story as Matthew described it, depicting the swine hurtling down the cliff into the sea at the bottom of the page. At the top right, shepherds run to the city to report the miracle.

The artist arranged the scene in three horizontal bands, keeping the main focus on the middle figures, whose emphatic gestures and tense body movements recount the vivid story.