Leaf from an Apocalypse


This large leaf, one of several surviving from a dismembered picture book of the Apocalypse, depicts John the Evangelist as the author of the book of Revelation, surrounded by seven angels representing the seven churches. The tabernacles and pinnacles around the angels evoke the façade of a Gothic cathedral, just as the blue-and-red palette suggests a stainedglass window. While it depicts the kingdom of heaven, the full-page miniature also represents the towering ambition of the high medieval Church. Didactic picture books of this kind had represented a popular genre in German monasticism since the twelfth century.

Leaf from an Apocalypse
Germany, Hessen, ca. 1340–50
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, MS 108
Purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011