Scala/Art Resource, NY

“Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature…” Newly formed beasts look on in astonishment as animals emerge from the very soil upon which a potent Creator strides. Raphael, who painted this scene from the first Creation story in the Loggia of the Vatican in about 1517, envisions a God who is pleased with the results of his creation and deems it all “good.” Human beings, however, are nowhere in evidence; among the living beings in God’s sequence of Creation, they are last. The second Creation narrative, in contrast, places the man first and central among God’s living creatures. Everything that God makes in this account is described only in terms of its relationship to man.