Genealogical Tables: Tare's Descendants
Beatus of Liébana
Las Huelgas Apocalypse
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910
Shown here is the genealogical table tracing the descendants of Tare, son of Macor and father of Abraham. The small roundel at top left depicts Peleg ("Falec"), Shem's great-grandson. Shem's connection with Noah explains why the large yellow circle below contains a small world map representing the three parts of the world inhabited by Noah's sons. Shem and his descendants occupied the top half, Asia, with its warm weather (terram temperatam). Japheth and his tribe lived in the cold (frigidam) of northern Europe (left), while Ham settled in hot (calidam) Africa (right; the inscription mentions Libya). The small roundel at top right is inscribed Tara filius naor (Tare, son of Macor). The roundel at bottom right is inscribed Baruel, who was the father of Rebecca, shown three roundels to the left.
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.