Cotton Genesis

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Top left: Abraham and angels
Top right: Artist reconstruction: Lot, the angels, People of Sodom
Bottom left: God, Adam and Eve
Bottom right: Lot’s house.

Cotton Genesis: (5-6th Century?)

Burnt to a crisp in 1793.
Construction of the page very similar in style to the Vatican Vergil. Square image, with text above and below. Originally 4-500 pages, A reconstruction, as mostly destroyed.
Most pages dyed purple, set with silver and gold, the utmost value.
We are able to reconstruct pages of Genesis – one of the domes in San Marco echoes the manuscript (begun 1063, possibly around 1220).
Representation of God is done in a very interesting way – revealed as Jesus (due to the staff with a cross on the end, and a cross halo). Therefore, in the Cotton Genesis there is not a literal view of the creation in Genesis itself!
A book whose goal is to illustrate as much of Genesis as possible. Represent a Christian ideology – and thus for a Christian patron.
Emerges from a “conversation” between Jewish and Christian medieval world views. Jesus superceedes the Old Covenant.

Echoes of the Byzantines in the Cotton Genesis (Books made between 5-7th C as continuation of Roman, but essentially the foundation of what becomes Byzantine art.

E.g. Cotton Genesis and San Marco.


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