Dr. Katherine Tachau
Participation year
Project title

The Image of God as an Architect in the Biblia Moralisee of San Luis: Who Gave the Creator a Compass?


Throughout history, art has successfully mirrored the period in which it was created. Social change, political upheaval, the dissatisfaction of a particular class, or a cultural revival is definitely going to be reflected in the artistic creations of the time. There is not an abundance of written information concerning God's image as the Creator prior to the 13th century or depictions of the same; however, some scholars note a significant change in the portrayal of God in paintings, mainly originating in France, beginning at the turn of the 12th century. For instance, the scribe and illuminator of the Biblia Moralisee of San Luis in the 13th century France depicted God the Creator holding a compass. This sudden change in artistic depiction, which is not noted previously in the history of art, is more than likely a testament to the revival of Classical thought and the interjection of the ideas of Antiquity into medieval culture through the desacrilization of education during this time. It is likely that the resurgence and integration of secular thought into a culture and society having previously been completely dominated by religious thought triggered the alteration of God's iconic image.

Stephanie  Rodgers
Xavier University of Louisiana