XI, 2015, 1

Creation of the World and Adam and Eve in Post-Byzantine Art: Some Notes on Genesis Cycles in Arbore and Suceviţa | p. 233–248

Adam and Eve, Arbore, Genesis, post-Byzantine art, Suceviţa


The article is dedicated to the sequences of scenes illustrating the Creation narration and the story of Adam and Eve in the frescoes of the Eastern Christian churches after the fall of Byzantium. It focuses on the function and implications of the Creation imagery, underlining its theological and liturgical context. To the eschatological significance of these cycles, another layer of meaning is added: the conclusion that the accent in certain Genesis cycles on the first days of Creation is connected not so much to the theme of transgression, repentance and atonement of sins, but to a greater degree to the theme of the Incarnation of the Logos. The appearance of scenes illustrating the first days of the creation of the world in the nave of Suceviţa monastery katholikon is reviewed in the perspective of this idea. New evidence is brought for the Western models of the Genesis cycle on the façade of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist church in Arbore.