The Twelve Minor Prophets
First half of the 14th century
Bottom register of a large relief of the life of Christ.
Cathedral of the Assumption, Orvieto, Italy
The last twelve books of the Christian Old Testament are called "The Minor Prophets." Eleven of them are prophecies named after their supposed authors, and one is about the prophet Jonah. Here the eleven prophets point up to the events in Christ's life which they were believed to have prophesied. The scrolls in their hands are of course their prophetic writings.
The 12th figure has no scroll and lies asleep in the center beneath a foliate emblem. Above the emblem is a stylized ivy vine with images of more prophets holding scrolls. In the relief to the left of this one, a "Jesse Tree," Jesse lies under an emblem just like this one, and the "tree" rises just like the vine on this side, again with personages from scripture. It is thus possible that the sleeping figure here is another image of Jesse. Or it could be Jonah, the twelfth prophet, pictured as he sleeps beneath the ivy vine of Jonah 4:6 (hedera, "ivy," in the Latin, "gourd" in KJV). He is stretched out in the same attitude we see in early images of his sleep beneath the ivy vine.
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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.