A remarkable collection of fragile pages from beautiful Beatus manuscripts in archives and libraries across Spain

Fragments of Beatus

Spain — 9th-12th century

Fragments of Beatus

Fragments of Beatus

Spain — 9th-12th century

  1. Beatus of Liébana (ca. 730 - ca. 800) wrote his famous Apocalypse commentary in 12 books ca. 800

  2. The commentary was recorded in richly illustrated manuscripts, primarily from the 10th-11th centuries

  3. The compendium at hand assembles fragile pieces from archives and libraries across Spain

Fragments of Beatus

Alternative Titles:
  • Fragmentos de Beatos
  • Beatus-Fragmente
Fragments of Beatus – Archivo de la Corona de Aragón (Barcelona, Spain) / others
Fragments of Beatus – Archivo de la Corona de Aragón (Barcelona, Spain) / others
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The large format, richly illustrated Beatus manuscripts of the 10th-11th centuries are outstanding testimonials to the immense creativity of illumination in northern Spain. Numerous illustrated codices of the famous Apocalypse commentary by Beatus of Liébana have survived to this day. Additionally, a multitude of fragments from Beatus manuscripts are stored in the Spanish archives. These works of art, some of them over a thousand years old, serve as a magnificent overview of the great and groundbreaking tradition of northern Spanish Beatus manuscripts in this compendium!

Fragments of Beatus

The large format, richly illustrated Beatus manuscripts of the 10th-11th centuries are outstanding testimonials to the immense creativity of illumination in northern Spain. Numerous illustrated codices of the famous Apocalypse commentary by Beatus of Liébana have survived to this day. Additionally, a multitude of fragments from Beatus manuscripts are stored in the Spanish archives. These works of art, some of them over a thousand years old, serve as a magnificent overview of the great and groundbreaking tradition of northern Spanish Beatus manuscripts in this compendium!

The Famous Apocalypse Commentary

Beatus of Liébana (ca. 730-800), an Asturian monk and theologian from the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, composed his magnum opus ca. 800, which has made him famous to this day: the famous Apocalypse commentary in 12 books. In doing so, Beatus of Liébana offered an aid clarifying and interpreting the biblical text of John’s Revelation of the end of the world. The famous Apocalypse, with its oft-enigmatic text, phenomena and events both wonderful and terrible, offers sufficient material for discussion among theologians.

A Fantastic Visual World and Grandiose Tradition

The significant text by Beatus of Liébana was recorded and richly illustrated in large-format manuscripts. They originate primarily from the 10th-11th centuries, but there are some specimens from the early 13th century as well. For the most part, they have been lavishly adorned, even with double-page miniatures, and offered the participating miniaturists the opportunity to present new visual inventions. Multi-headed monsters, dark angels, and other mysterious phenomena from the Apocalypse makes up the material of these fantastic illustrations. These roughly one-thousand-year-old, so-called Beatus manuscripts have survived in great numbers, some in better condition, others only in fragments. Nonetheless, these Beatus fragments allow us to fully comprehend the outstanding quality and superior artistry of the manuscripts and miniaturists in northern Spain!

Particularly Fragile Treasures

Such Beatus fragments are stored in numerous collections to this day. The compendium at hand assembles fragile pieces from the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón in Barcelona, the Archivo Histórico Provincial de León, the Archivo Histórico Diocesano de León, the Archivo General de la Nación (Mexico), the Archivo del Monasterio de San Pedro de las Dueñas (León), Biblioteca de la Abadía de Montserrat, the Archivo de Santo Domingo de Silos, the Archi¬vo de la Real Chancillería de Valladolid, and the Archivo Histórico Provincial de Zamora. 16 sheets from the 9th-12th centuries – sometimes smaller pieces from entire folios, sometimes part or all of a double-page – are presented here from the Spanish manuscripts of the Apocalypse commentary by Beatus of Liébana. These are gorgeous testimonials to the significant Beatus tradition: pages of text with multi-colored script and artfully designed initials, miniatures with gorgeous visual inventions for the fantastic tales of the Book of Revelation!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Fragmentos de Beatos
Beatus-Fragmente
Size / Format
34 pages / 35.8 x 26.7 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
9th-12th century
Language

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Fragments of Beatus“

Fragmentos de Beatos
Fragments of Beatus – Archivo de la Corona de Aragón (Barcelona, Spain) / others
Fragments of Beatus – Archivo de la Corona de Aragón (Barcelona, Spain) / others
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Fragmentos de Beatos

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2009
Binding
Case wrapped in fabric
Commentary
2 volumes
Language: Spanish
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