Icon of the Creation of the Universe (Mosaic) (Venice-San Marco, 13th Century) – F134


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13th c. (Early)




On the ceiling of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice comes this beautiful large mosaic of the Creation of the Universe, depicted here in the continuous succession of twenty four scenes in three zones forming concentric circles.   The figures here are noticeably similar to those in the sixth century illuminated manuscript known as the Cotton Bible.

In the very center, the Holy Spirit is shown hovering above the waters.  In the first circle around the Holy Spirit, the Creation of the Heavenly Bodies is shown.  In the next circle outward, the Creation of the birds and the beasts of the sea, as well as the Creation of all of the beasts of the land are shown.  In the outmost circle is the Creation of Man, life in Paradise, and the Fall of Man.  In the corners the six-winged Seraphim are guarding all that God the Most High created, for all of Creation is sacred, especially Man when he is baptized, chrismated, and received into the Church, and lives a holy life consistent with God’s Commandments and Will.  The Image and Likeness of God are in us in our very creation, but by our cooperation can truly blossom.