The Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, is not only the last Book of the New Testament, but its most difficult, puzzling, and terrifying. It provided challenges to medieval illustrators and was the source for a number of popular images, such as Christ in Majesty, the Adoration of the Lamb, and the Madonna of the Apocalypse and contributed to the widespread use of the Evangelists' symbols.
Selected images from Apocalypse Then: Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan, an exhibition held at the Morgan are presented here. The exhibition celebrates the completion of a facsimile of the Morgan's Las Huelgas Apocalypse—the latest dated (1220) and largest surviving manuscript of a Spanish tradition of illuminated commentaries on the Apocalypse by the monk Beatus of Liébana. The series of manuscripts constitutes Spain's most important contribution to medieval manuscript illumination.
The Las Huelgas Apocalypse contains three sections: the prefatory cycle, the Apocalypse, and the Book of Daniel.
In addition to forty-nine images from the Las Huelgas Apocalypse, six images from other manuscripts in the Morgan's collections, including the earliest Beatus painted by Maius and one by the Master of the Berry Apocalypse, are in this presentation.
Christ In Majesty With The Four Living Creatures
The popular theme of Christ in Majesty surrounded by the four symbols of the evangelists (eagle, man, lion, ox) is based on John's vision of the throne of heaven with the four living creatures (Rev. 4). His vision, in turn, was inspired by that of Ezechiel, where cherubim supported the throne chariot of God.
Jeweled binding with gold repoussé plaque. Flanders, third quarter of the eleventh century, for Judith, countess of Flanders. On a Gospel Book, in Latin. England, ca. 1051-64, for Judith of Flanders.