The identification of the message to the seven churches with the Church itself, caused Beatus to include another sign, represented earlier in the Old Testament: Noah´s Ark, a refuge for those practicing the doctrine preached by the Church. The codices of Valladolid and Silos both feature four levels including the gabled lower deck where the patriarch and his family are situated. No attempt has been made to depict pairs of animals as described in Genesis, the only pair being the cock and the hen. Otherwise the animals are portrayed mostly passant facing either left or right, with some in a frontal view. The animals in the first group are the hen, cock, goat, hare and monkey. The second level features the panther, bear, leopard and lion. The bottom level includes just three animals: a horse, a dromedary and a bull. Depicted in the upper level of the ark [arca] of Noah [Noe] is the dove with the olive branch entering a hole in the gabled roof. Positioned on one side and on the other are his wife and daughters, wearing veils, and three sons in a clearly symmetrical layout.
Ángela Franco Mata
Head of Department of Medieval Antiquities
Museo Arqueológico Nacional
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