The First Day of Creation: Day and Night

12th-13th century
Cathedral of the Assumption, Monreale, Sicily

In the upper left the inscription has Genesis 1:5, appellavitque lucem diem et tenebras noctem, "He called the light day and the darkness night," preceded by another phrase of which the photograph shows only a part. The scroll in God's hand, also seen in the subsequent Creation panels, is a symbol of his divine authority. It is also seen in 4th-century sarcophagi images of the miracles of Jesus (example).

Without the inscription one would think God was creating the angels in this panel.

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View other panels in the cathedral's Genesis sequence.
Read more about images of the Creation.

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.