Flemish Apocalypse

Flemish Apocalypse – M. Moleiro Editor – ms. néerlandais 3 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)

Flanders — 1400–1410

The impressive refinement of the famous English Apocalypse manuscripts: The mysticism of the Book of Revelation in 23 enigmatic full-page miniatures in the transition from the Gothic to the Renaissance

  1. The unique manuscript in the Gothic style contains breath-taking miniatures from Flemish miniaturists

  2. Large, full-page miniatures break with the tradition of English Apocalypses during the Gothic period

  3. The mysterious yet realistic miniatures mark the transition from the art of the Gothic to the Renaissance

Flemish Apocalypse

  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Flemish Apocalypse

The Book of Revelation, referred to as the Apocalypse during the Middle Ages, was one of the most popular texts chosen for illuminated manuscripts because the incredible, fantastic, and often terrifying events is describes allowed artists to explore the very limits of their ability. Marking the transition from Gothic to Renaissance art, the so-called Flemish Apocalypse arose between 1400 and 1410 in Belgian Flanders, which was one of the most important centers of the manuscript production at the time, is now in the National Library of France. The anonymous illuminator created 23 exquisite full-page illuminations for the manuscript, which carry the viewer away into gold-adorned, visionary dream worlds. While reflecting the traditional style of Apocalypse manuscripts of the time, the magnificent pictorial works also contain unique new stylistic characteristics and artfully illustrate the mysterious atmosphere of the biblical text.

Flemish Apocalypse

The Belgian region of Flanders was a stronghold of medieval book art. The coveted illuminated manuscripts from Flemish studios were exported across all of Europe. The Flemish Apocalypse is a work from the Belgian school that continues to astound its beholders to this day. The unique manuscript in the Gothic style arose between 1400 and 1410 and contains breath-taking miniatures, which have been ennobled through gold leaf embellishment. The famous Belgian scholar and mystic Lubertus Hautscilt is considered to be the spiritual father of this apocalypse.

The Genre of the Apocalypse

The Book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible and is also known as the Apocalypse. In this biblical story the visions of John about Judgement Day and the end of the world are thematized, describing how sinners will be punished in Hell and righteous people will be rewarded in Heaven. The artistically valuable depictions of the Flemish Apocalypse are counted among the greatest eschatological pictorial visions of the Late Middle Ages.

Special Iconography

The miniatures of the Flemish Apocalypse give evidence to the extraordinary talent of the anonymous master. One the one hand, they maintain the typical style of the Apocalypse tradition, nevertheless they exhibit completely innovative characteristics. Every single miniature exhibits a particular visionary character, and visually echoes the mysterious atmosphere of the text. The special characteristics of the miniatures demonstrate the religious mentality of Flanders at that time. The outstanding manuscript marks the transition from the art of the Gothic to the Renaissance and an artistic highpoint of realistic painting in the southern Netherlands.


Alternative Titles
Apocalipsis Flamenco
Flämische Apokalypse
Apocalisse Fiamminga
Apocalypse Flamande
Apocalipse Flamengo
Size / Format
50 pages / 34.0 × 25.0 cm
23 full-page illuminations decorated with gold

Available facsimile editions:
Flemish Apocalypse – M. Moleiro Editor – ms. néerlandais 3 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)
M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2005
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Detail Picture

Flemish Apocalypse

The Whore of Babylon

The Whore of Babylon or Great Harlot is a symbolic female figure representing an evil kingdom in service to the Beast: “So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.” (Rev. 17:3-4)

Flemish Apocalypse – M. Moleiro Editor – ms. néerlandais 3 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)
Single Page

Flemish Apocalypse

Son of Man / Seven Churches

The helmsman in a red hood from the previous miniature is seen pushing off after having brought John to the island of Patmos. John is lying down as an angel brings him an empty scroll on which to write his Revelation. The seven churches of Asia are represented by Gothic buildings in a semi-circle around Christ with John kneeling at his right hand.

“And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; … He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” (Rev. 1:13–14, 16).

Flemish Apocalypse – M. Moleiro Editor – ms. néerlandais 3 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Apocalipsis Flamenco

M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2005

Publisher: M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2005
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Binding: Deep red leather with leather case
Commentary: 1 volume (224 pages) by Jos Koldeweij, Adrianus Koldewej and Nelly de Hommel-Steenbakkers
Language: Spanish or English
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.
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