Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardeña Codex

Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardena Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Museo Arqueológico Nacional (Madrid, Spain) / Francisco de Zabálburu y Basabe Library (Madrid, Spain) / Museu Diocesà (Gerona, Spain) / Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters

Scriptorium of the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña (Burgos, Spain) — Between 1175 and 1185

The pictorial bridge between Romanesque and Gothic: a fascinating Beatus manuscript with 51 gold-ornamented miniatures by two genuine masters of their respective styles and today scattered in four parts across two continents

  1. Here, two painters from different schools transcended the threshold between Romanesque and Gothic

  2. This manuscript contains 51 miniatures adorned with gold and combining different styles of illumination

  3. The highly coveted manuscript is divided among four prestigious museums around the world today

Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardeña Codex

Publisher's Price (new) 6,980  
Special Offer until 02/29/2024 (like new) 3,499  
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardeña Codex

The San Pedro de Carden͂a Codex is a manuscript in the tradition of the apocalypse writings of Beatus. This codex originates from around 1180 in the Monastery of San Pedro de Carden͂a in Spain. It contains 51 miniatures adorned with gold, which interestingly combine different styles of illumination with one another. Individual pages of the work are housed today in various prestigious museums.

Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Carden͂a 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. One manuscript originating from the tradition of Beatus is the San Pedro de Carden͂a Codex. This codex originates from Spain ca. 1180 and is divided among collections in Madrid, New York, and Girona.

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. The codex from 1180 originates from the scriptorium of the Monastery of San Pedro de Carden͂a and marks an interesting mix of styles during the transition from late-Romanesque to earl-Gothic illumination.

Historically Significant Miniatures

The San Pedro de Carden͂a Codex is illustrated with 51 highly-valuable miniatures, which are richly adorned with gold. Today it cannot be said for certain who was responsible for the valuable images. The miniatures of this Beatus manuscript are of particular historical appeal because they transcend the threshold from late-Romanesque to early-Gothic. Both tendencies can be clearly distinguished from one another in the codex, showing that two differently schooled painters of comparably high quality cooperated. The original edition of the codex only exists in individual fragments. Some pages of the manuscript are found today in the prestigious Metropolitan Museum in New York. The museums of Arqueológico Nacional and Colección Francisco de Zabálburu y Basabe in Madrid also possess some pages in their collection. Additional sections are housed in the Art Museum of Girona.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Beato de Liébana, códice del Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardeña, Burgos
Cardeña Beatus
Beatus von Cardeña
Beato di Cardeña
Béatus de Cardeña
Size / Format
290 pages / 44.5 × 30.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
Between 1175 and 1185
Style
Language
Illustrations
51 illuminations decorated with gold
Patron
The Cardeña Beatus reached the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in 1871 incomplete
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Available facsimile editions:
Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardena Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Museo Arqueológico Nacional (Madrid, Spain) / Francisco de Zabálburu y Basabe Library (Madrid, Spain) / Museu Diocesà (Gerona, Spain) / Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters
M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2000
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Detail Picture

Beatus of Liébana - Burgo de Osma Codex

The First Trumpet

Immediately following the Seven Seals, angels assemble to blow the Seven Trumpets, each signifying a new disaster to befall the earth, referred to as “woes”. This series of calamities begins with an apocalyptic hailstorm, a downpour as destructive as a bombing raid. “The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” (Rev. 8:7)

Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardena Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Museo Arqueológico Nacional (Madrid, Spain) / Francisco de Zabálburu y Basabe Library (Madrid, Spain) / Museu Diocesà (Gerona, Spain) / Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters
Single Page

Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardena Codex

The Second Trumpet

The miniatures of this manuscript mark the transition to the Gothic style from the traditional Romanesque of Beatus manuscripts. Both styles are displayed side-by-side in the manuscript. The miniature at hand depicts the blowing of the Second Trumpet, which causes a great mountain burning with fire to be cast into the sea, turning a third of it into blood while also destroying a third of the fish and ships therein.

The figure of the angel suspended in a dark blue heaven has the lithe figure associated with the Gothic style, with natural folds in the garments and detailed wings of red, blue, and shimmering gold, which was also used for the halo and trumpet. The sea is divided into thirds by color, with the blood-third at the bottom filled with the victims of the catastrophe.

Beatus of Liébana - San Pedro de Cardena Codex – M. Moleiro Editor – Museo Arqueológico Nacional (Madrid, Spain) / Francisco de Zabálburu y Basabe Library (Madrid, Spain) / Museu Diocesà (Gerona, Spain) / Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters
Facsimile Editions

#1 Beato de Liébana, códice del Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardeña, Burgos

M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2000

Publisher: M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2000
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Binding: Tanned hide
Commentary: 1 volume (368 pages) by Angela Franco Mata, Manuel Sáchez Mariana, Elisa Ruiz García and Eugenio Romero-Pose
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.
Publisher's Price (new) 6,980  
Special Offer until 02/29/2024 (like new) 3,499  
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