c. AD 280–90
Overall: 41.5 x 36 x 18.5 cm (16 5/16 x 14 3/16 x 7 5/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1965.238
The fearsome creature spitting Jonah out of its mouth is a creation of the artist's imagination derived from the ancient Greek cetos, a sea monster. Like other mythical beasts, such as the griffin and the sphinx, this monster combines elements of several different animals. Which ones do you see when looking at this fantastical creature?
After disobeying the Lord’s command to proclaim judgment on the city of Nineveh, the Old Testament prophet Jonah was cast into the sea and swallowed by a sea monster. He spent three days praying inside the beast before being cast ashore. Here, the beast spits Jonah out of its mouth.
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