The Biblical account of the Creation of Heaven and Earth spans 31 verses of the first book of the Old Testament, Bereshit in Hebrew, and Genesis in Latin. The conciseness of this description has excited the literary imagination of humankind since ancient times, and since the Middle Ages it has been a canvas on which to visualise the beginnings of the world.
In modern editions of the Bible, we find images of God in the act of creating: pointing his index finger at the materialising Earth, Sun, and stars as well as plants, animals, and the first man. Artistic representations of the beginnings of the world have been portrayed in settings known both to the artists and the viewers. This world which was known to Europeans had been expanding in the general consciousness since the Age of Exploration, starting at the end of the 15th century. It was at that time that the vast expanses of the seas were discovered, as were new lands and flora and fauna quite different from that in Europe. A whole range of descriptions and maps of the new lands was created, and the new plants, animals, and wonders of nature were documented. Imagined representations of the stages of the creation of the world contained in various editions of the Bible are juxtaposed in this exhibition with visual documentation of the real world and its plants, animals, and people.
Curator: Agnieszka Perzanowska