Cain and Abel Offering Gifts
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Master of Jean de Mandeville
French, Paris, about 1360 - 1370
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment

MS. 1, V1, FOL. 11

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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.