A Visual Analysis of 8220Jonah Cast Up8221 Essay

This essay has a total of 744 words and 4 pages.

A Visual Analysis of 8220Jonah Cast Up8221




A collection of marble sculptures called the “Jonah Group” is now on display
at the Cleveland Art Museum. “Jonah Swallowed, Jonah Cast Up, Jonah Praying, Jonah
Under the Gourd Vine, and The Good Shepherd,” are the separate titles for each of
the different statues depicting events in the Bible story. They are part of the John L.
Severance Fund; numbered 1965.237, .238, .239, .240, .241 respectively. The “Jonah
Group” was created in Asia minor, approximately 270 to 280 AD. These statues most
likely decorated the water fountain in a wealthy private home. This visual Analysis
focuses on “Jonah Cast Up.”

“Jonah Cast Up,” this sculpture portrays the miraculous event of Jonah being
spit out of the Whale. It consists of a strangely shaped whale lying on its stomach. The
whale arches its back so that the curvy tail twists up over its head. Shooting out of the
whale’s mouth is Jonah. He is halfway out head first with his arms outstretched
straight above his head. The figures rest on a rectangle base that is roughly 3 inches
tall and approximately a square foot in area. The whole sculpture is 15 inches tall, 16
inches long, and 81/2 inches wide. The Jonah figure is missing a left hand which has
broken off over time. It is a statue showing action and movement by the way Jonah is being
cast up and out of the whale’s mouth.

The sculpture, as all of “The Jonah Group,” is constructed of white marble
from Roman Imperial quarries in Ancient Phrygia. Having been unearthed from a large
pithos in central turkey, nearly fifty percent of the sculpture’s surface remains
covered with a thin layer of light brown dirt or dust. The surface is so smoothly shaped
that the stone looks soft to the touch. Under an outdoor fountain, the wet statue would
have a brilliant white shine.

The figure of Jonah has a well proportioned, muscular, upper body sculpted resembling a
Greek God. He has a full beard and wavy flowing hair. In this sculpture, only his top
half is visible, and he is not wearing a tunic. His arms are outstretched above his head
palms open flat, as if thrusting his way up out of the beast. He seems completely
uninjured, and his face shows little anxiety considering his situation. His eyes are open
and appear to be gazing off to the horizon as if he is already planning where to begin his
new life of servitude to the Lord.

The Whale is formed out of a variety of different animal parts. Most noticeably is the
shape of its head. It was given a pig head shape, pig snout, and pig ears. It has sharp,
vicious looking dog teeth, a dog mouth, and nose. A spiked mane runs down the back of its
neck beginning between its large, perked forward ears. The Whale was given dog legs and
paws. It also has feathery angel wings. The rear half of the body resembles a whale
except for being too slender and for having too many curves in its tail. The tail gives
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