Courtesy of the Pierpont Morgan Library

Manuscript page by Parisian Artists (c. 1250). In this richly illuminated fourpaneled manuscript page God appears four times in scenes depicting creation and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. On the fifth day of creation, a bearded God, upper left, with a cruciform halo raises his right hand in the western gesture of blessing, as his left hand rests upon the globe of the world. The sun and moon, created the day before, ride high in the sky. The “great whales” and “every winged fowl according to this kind” (Genesis 1:21) cavort in the newly made creation, and from above angles fly down, their hands extended, perhaps to applaud the deity.

On the sixth day of creation, upper right, God creates Adam. God’s gesture with pointed finger seems admonitory, and he grasps Adam’s arm as one would a wayward child’s;and indeed Adam’s figure is smaller in scale than his creator’s.

Then, again, with the gesture of blessing (lower left), God draws Eve forth from Adam’s side as Adam lies with his head propped up on a plant-covered hillock. In the same scene, God instructs the modest couple aout the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At the lower right, we see Adam and Eve each greedily bite into a fruit while dancing toward the tree and grabbing another fruit. Presiding over the event is a smiling French wench who has a chic headdress but who also has the body of a green dragon with graceful red wings.