Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex

Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Nouv. acq. lat. 2290 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)

Scriptorium of the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña (Burgos, Spanien) — Ca. 1220

An unprecedented picture program for King Ferdinand III of Castile: one of the last and at the same time most beautiful Beatus manuscripts with 69 gold and silver adorned miniatures from the monastery of San Pedro de Carden͂a

  1. One of the last Beatus manuscripts also contains one of the most unique iconographic programs

  2. Made ca. 1220 for King Ferdinand III of Castile (ca. 1200–1252) in the Monastery of San Pedro de Carden͂a

  3. 69 miniatures decorated with gold and silver make it one of the most beautiful Beatus manuscripts

Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex

Facsimile Copy Available!
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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex

The San Andrés de Arroyo Codex is the newest codex from the series of Beatus manuscripts about the Apocalypse. The work originates from the scriptorium of a monastery near the Spanish city of Burgos ca. 1220. Its colorful miniatures are richly decorated with gold leaf and silver. The miniatures are painted in the Gothic style of illumination.

Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex

The Book of Revelation, which is also known as the Apocalypse, is the last book of the New Testament. The story of the end of the world, of Judgement Day, of the sinners’ descent into hell, tremendously fascinated Christians from every land. A Spanish monk by the name of Beatus wrote a commentary on this book from the Bible, which was adapted over several centuries thereafter. The San Andrés de Arroyo Codex is a late edition of the manuscript by Beatus. The work originated from the beginning of the 13th century and with its 69 miniatures decorated with gold and silver, it is an especially beautifully illustrated edition.

Who Was Beatus?

Beatus of Liébana was a monk and theologian, who belonged to the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana in Spain. The monk is famous above all for his magnum opus, a commentary on the biblical Apocalypse in twelve books. These twelve books originate from ca. 776 and are known today as the Beatus-Series. The twelve books were adapted into countless manuscripts, many of which survive to this day. The majority of Beatus manuscripts originate from between the 10th and 12th centuries in northern Spain. Some more manuscripts were also produced after the heyday, the San Andrés de Arroyo Codex is one of them.

A Late Reception

The San Andrés de Arroyo Codex originates from ca. 1220 in the Monastery of San Pedro de Carden͂a in Spain. It was commissioned by King Ferdinand III of Castile. The Arroyo Codex is the newest of the Beatus manuscripts and contains a unique iconographic program. One of the work’s images shows a crowd of people on the Day of Judgement. The group is led by a royal couple and passes through the hell mouth. This type of picture was employed in the construction of Gothic church doors. The centuries-old tradition of the Beatus writings ended with the Arroya Codex.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Arroyo Beatus - San Andrés de Arroyo Monastery Codex
Beato de Liébana, códice del Monasterio de San Andrés de Arroyo, Palencia
Beatus von Arroyo - Codex des Klosters San Andrés de Arroyo
Beato di Arroyo - Bibliothèque nationale de France, Parigi
Béatus de Arroyo - Codex du Monastère de San Andrés de Arroyo
Beato de Arroyo - Códice do Mosteiro de San Andrés de Arroyo
Size / Format
334 pages / 45.7 × 30.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
Ca. 1220
Style
Language
Illustrations
69 miniatures illuminated with gold and silver leaf
Patron
King Ferdinand III, Fernando III el Santo (1199–1252)

Available facsimile editions:
Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Nouv. acq. lat. 2290 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)
M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1999
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Detail Picture

Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex

The Hellmouth

During the Last Judgement, the Blessed are separated from the Damned, who are cast into the Lake of Fire, represented here by the Hellmouth. First appearing in Anglo-Saxon art ca. 800, the Hellmouth originated in pagan Nordic religion before being Christianized and becoming a popular way of envisioning the entrance to Hell among medieval and Renaissance artists. Here we see demons crowding a group of people into flames while others are tortured and dismembered on a wheel covered with blades.

Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Nouv. acq. lat. 2290 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)
Single Page

Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex

Vision of the Lamb on Mt. Zion

“And I looked and lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him a hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads…And they sang, as it were, a new song before the throne, and before the four living beings and the elders; and no man could learn that song, except the hundred and forty and four thousand who were redeemed from the earth” (Rev. 14:1,3)

Although the text says that they are playing harps, the 12th century artists depict the 144,000 wearing crowns and playing something resembling violins or a similar string instrument. The four living creatures, who appear like angels with animal heads (save for the winged man of course) above gold Suns and silver Moons, and numerous elders are shown overhead.

Beatus of Liébana - San Andrés de Arroyo Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Nouv. acq. lat. 2290 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Beato de Liébana, códice del Monasterio de San Andrés de Arroyo, Palencia

M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1999

Publisher: M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1999
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Binding: Beige leather binding
Commentary: 1 volume (388 pages) by Miguel C. Vivancos, Dulce Ocón, Carmen Bernis and Carlos Miranda
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€€
(3,000€ - 7,000€)
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