The Arena Chapel Frescos:
Jonah Swallowed by the Great Fish

Arena Chapel, Padua

This image is in the decorative band preceding Giotto's fresco of the entombment of Christ, the third panel in the bottom register of the north wall. The position reflects Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 12:40, "As Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights."

In the Vulgate of Jonah 2:1 the creature is "a great fish," but in Matthew 12:40 it is a whale, reflecting the Greek text of the Book of Jonah that was used by the early Christians. Giotto's creature has gills like a fish but a pectoral fin like that of a whale.

Read more about images of Jonah.

Source: Web Gallery of Art via this page at Wikimedia Commons.