The Second Day of Creation. Artist: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Engraver: Steinbrecher [or Stenbrecher]. Source: Die Bibel in Bildern, Plate 2. Click on image to enlarge it.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. [Genesis 1: 6-8; King James Bible]

The Second Day of Creation, far more than the one that immediately precedes it in the Bible in Pictures, seems about as far from the early Nazarene values of Overbeck and Pforr as one can get. Instead of their pale colors, even lighting, and frieze-like compositions, we here encounter a Baroque Godhead. The cape of the male figure in The First Day of Creation like the one in this Illustration flies over God's left shoulder, but the two images of divinity differ in so many other ways, the most obvious of which is that in the first plate Schnorr's static and symmetrical depiction of this supreme patriarchal figure appears far more easily understood as a symbolic representation of something beyond human understanding. In contrast, this figure with Baroque swirling robes appears far more human than divine. —George P. Landow.

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You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Hathi Digital Trust Library and the Columbia University Library and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Die Bibel in Bildern [Picture Bible] von Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Leipzig: Georg Wigands, 1860. Hathi Digital Trust Library online version of a copy in the Columbia University Library. Web. 25 June 2016.

Last modified 26 June 2016