The Miracle of the Gadarene Swine

Unknownabout 1000

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

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.


  • Title: The Miracle of the Gadarene Swine
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about 1000
  • Location Created: Canterbury (?), England
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 31.3 × 18.1 cm (12 5/16 × 7 1/8 in.)
  • Type: Detached leaf
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 85.MS.79.1.recto
  • Culture: Anglo-Saxon
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 9, leaf 1
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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