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The First Three Days of Creation, in an Abridgement of the Bible

The First Three Days of Creation, in an Abridgement of the Bible

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1250

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Faustina B VII

Item number: f. 44r

Length: 25.7

Width: 16.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

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This manuscript contains an abridgement of the Bible which encapsulates the history and generations of men and women presented in the Old and New Testaments and gives moralising interpretations of them. Many of the pages are set out with diagrams showing the sequence of events and God's actions within them. This abridgement has been traditionally attributed to Peter of Poitiers, who was professor of theology at the University of Paris in the late 12th to early 13th centuries, but it is far from certain that he really wrote it.

The beginning of Genesis is presented with a sequence of circular pictures showing God and the first three days. To the left, the text of Genesis 1 is written and, to the right, the moralising interpretations of the text. It is a good example of how images were used to organise ideas and teach them in the gothic period of art.

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