Capture Of The Beast And Of The False Prophet
Beatus of Liébana
Las Huelgas Apocalypse
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910
I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, having been gathered together to do battle against him who was sitting upon the horse, and against his army. And the beast was apprehended, and with him the false prophet, who in his presence caused the signs by which were seduced those who accepted the character of the beast and who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the pool of fire burning with sulfur. And the others were slain by the sword that proceeds from the mouth of him who was sitting upon the horse. And all the birds were sated with their flesh. (Rev. 19:19–21)
The beast is slain and the false prophet beaten by men wielding maces. At right two birds feast on the flesh of a follower of the false prophet.
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.