Creation Tapestry

The Creation, or Girona tapestry, Spain, 11th-12th centuries. The Creation, or Girona tapestry, Spain, 11th-12th centuries.

The Creation tapestry, also known as the Girona tapestry, is an embroidered panel now housed in the Museum of Girona Cathedral, Spain. It dates to the eleventh or twelfth century, and measures, as it survives, 365 by 470 cm. The embroidery depicts scenes that relate to the Christian creation stories, hence its name.

Technically, the embroidery, parts of which are now missing, is worked with self couching and stem stitch on a ground material that is made of different colours of wool and white linen. The border includes small squares that may have been added later.

The centre of the embroidery includes two concentric circles. In the centre circle is Christ Pantocrator, shown as a beardless young man. The circle surrounding him carries the text: Dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux, And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen 1.3). He is surrounded by various rectangular sections placed within the outer concentric circle. These sections contain pictorial references to the days of the creation as told in Genesis, including a representation of Eve being taken from the body of Adam. There are also texts from the Book of Genesis. Outside the circle there are representations of the four winds.

The squares of the border include a variety of figures, including that of an old man who represents the Year, with the Wheel of Time. Other squares contain figures that represent the four seasons. The two lower corners show the sun and the moon. The squares along the sides show the months, while the squares along the lower border may refer to Christ's Passion.


  • BAERT, Barbara (1999), 'New observations on the Genesis of Girona (1050-1100). The Iconography of the Legend of the True Cross', Gesta, Vol. 38, No. 2. (1999), pp. 115-127.
  • CASTINEIRAS, Manuel (2011). El tapís de la Creació / El tapiz de la Creación. Barcelona: Capítol Catedral de Girona. Girona.
  • PALOL, Pere de (1992). Cataluña Medieval, Tapiz de la Creación. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya.

See also the entry in the Historical Needlework Resources (retrieved 29 March 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 22 June 2016).


Last modified on Friday, 09 December 2016 18:47