Vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem
Beatus of Liébana
Commentary on the Apocalypse, in Latin
Illuminated by Maius (d. 968)
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1919
St. Beatus of Liébana completed his commentary about 776. The long cycles of pictures accompanying it constitute the greatest achievement of medieval Spanish illumination. The Morgan Beatus is important because it is the earliest complete copy and thus stands at the beginning of the Beatus tradition. Although the book was ordered for Escalada (consecrated in 913), it was not made there, as Maius worked in the tower scriptorium at San Salvador de Tábara, where he died and was buried in 968. Maius tells us he made the book so that the "wise may fear the coming of the future judgment of the world's end."