Beatus manuscripts, illuminated codices presenting the Commentary on the Apocalypse by the 8th century Spanish monk and theologian Saint Beatus of Liébana are among the most fascinating codices produced during the Middle Ages. They are considered to be a genre unto themselves within the larger corpus of splendid medieval manuscripts of the Apocalypse, as the Book of Revelation was more commonly referred to during the Middle Ages.
The commentary by Beatus has survived to the present in 27 manuscripts, with new specimens being discovered in recent years. They were primarily produced in Northern Spain and are of special importance for Spanish art history, although Beatus manuscripts were also produced in France and Italy. The fantastic imagery often appears convoluted to modern people, but an eye attuned to the aesthetics and symbolism of the Middle Ages can easily decipher the illumination of these significant works of art.