Ezekiel's Vision - Raphael. C. 1518
This small canvas was painted by Raphael in oil around 1518. The background of the painting is fully consistent with the biblical description of this vision: “... a stormy wind came from the north, a great cloud and swirling fire, and the radiance around it” (Ezekiel 1: 4). In the very same vision, God is depicted floating in the air, supported by "the likeness of four animals." Christian tradition identifies them with four winged creatures: a man or an angel, a lion, a bull and an eagle, which symbolize the four Evangelists (Mark, John, Matthew and Luke) in the visual arts. It was this tradition, and not just the description of the vision of Ezekiel, that Raphael followed in writing this picture.
The half-naked figure of God the Father, although gray-haired as the Hebrew Pre-Eternal (Daniel 7: 9), but with the body of a man in his prime, is depicted in the spirit of the Renaissance; God is like Jupiter, king of the gods of pagan antiquity. The colossal power of vision is conveyed by comparison with the scale of the landscape: at the bottom of the picture is visible the tiny figure of Ezekiel himself, snatched from the shadows by a bright ray of light.
GOD. In the New Testament, Christ gave the command to his disciples: "... go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," from where the doctrine of the Holy Trinity came. In the artistic representation of the Trinity, the One God appears in three faces: God the Father, God the Son — usually with stigma, and God the Holy Spirit, most often in the form of a ray of light or a dove.
In the Renaissance, God the Father was depicted as a static figure of an old man with long gray hair and a flying beard, as in the painting of the Masaccio Trinity (1427-1428). God the Father on the frescoes of Michelangelo's Creation (1509-1512; Sistine Chapel, Vatican. Rome) is similar to Jupiter.
Usually the attributes of God could be a triangular halo representing a trinity; the ball as a result of its activities as the Creator of the world; or the Greek letters alpha and omega, meaning his power over the beginning and end of milestones of things.