24 JÉSUS PREFIGURED Master Bertram (ca. 1345–ca.1415) had the most important workshop in Hamburg (Germany). His masterpiece is the monumental altarpiece on the high altar of the Church of Saint Peter. Installed in 1383, it remains impressive in its dimensions: 23.8 feet wide and 9 feet high. Its three inner panels are decorated with seventy-nine sculpted polychrome figures, its four outer panels contain twenty-four painted scenes. One of these tableaux, The Creation of the Stars, is shown here. God the Creator is represented in human form. He is clothed in a red toga, the divine color par excellence, symbol of the empire of his omnipotence over the visible and invisible universe, but also a proof of the divine love. The artist was inspired by the First Letter of Saint John (1 Jn 4:16-19): God is love, an overflowing love, and this is why God is Creator: God...first loved us. The Creator also wears a long blue tunic, the color of the heaven where he dwells and the color of eternity. To express symbolically the Biblical text: God said: “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens”.... And God saw that it was good (Gn 1:14,18) the artist attributes to the Creator a hand gesture. In the Old Testament, the expression “the hand of God” accounts for the sovereign will, the omnipotence, and the invincible might which are his divine attributes. The creative hand is recorded in the space-time continuumwhere his attributes are displayed. Ultimately, this hand that speaks signifies the Word who is act, and who produces the effect. Now the New Testament will reveal that the Word is a distinct Divine Person, the only-begotten Son of God the Father, who became man so that humanity would be not only saved from the power of evil, but also divinized. Thus the artist reveals the mystery of the Incarnation at the heart of his vision of the mystery of Creation. Finally, the artist represents here God in action, inasmuch as he is what Christian tradition calls the “Holy Trinity,” three Persons in one God. Creation was made in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: the bearded face evokes the “Ancient of Days,” the Father; the red cloak the fire of the Holy Spirit; the creative hand theWord, the only-begotten Son. By hisWord, according to the will of the Father and with the power of the Holy Spirit, God speaks and it is done. The Creation of the Stars, detail of the altarpiece of Grabow Master Bertram (ca. 1345–ca. 1415) 1379–1383 Tempera on wood, 105 x 286 in Hamburg, Kunsthalle In light of the whole Bible, from Genesis to the Book of Revelation, and first and foremost from the words of Jesus reported by the Gospels, Christian tradition understands the act of the creation of the world as God’s work, inasmuch as he is “Trinity,” in other words, one God in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Son, who is the Second Person of the Trinity, is also called the Logos, that is, the “Word” of God. His intervention is primordial at the moment of Creation, since God creates by speaking: “And God said....” Christians believe that “in the fullness of time” this Son, or Word of God, became man in the person of Jesus, so that man might become God. The hand that speaks