Special Manuscripts2

Art Themes77

Bitter Water Ordeal

A miniature inspired by apocryphal sources, such as the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Protoevangelium of James, showing the episode from the life of the Mary in which she must submit to the ordeal of the bitter water, typically with Joseph , to prove she is innocent of adultery.


Chojnacki, S. 1993. ‘The Theme of the Bitter Water in Ethiopian Painting’, in P. Henze, ed., Aspects of Ethiopian Art from Ancient Axum to the 20th Century (London: The Jed Press, 1993), 53–67. Lepage, C. and J. Mercier 2011–2012. ‘Un tétraévangile illustré éthiopien à cycle long du XVe siècle. Codicologie et iconographie’, Cahiers Archéologiques, 54 (2011–2012), 99–174.

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