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Collections | Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Beatus of Liebana image

Vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem
Beatus of Liébana
Commentary on the Apocalypse, in Latin
Illuminated by Maius (d. 968)
Spain, province of León, probably San Salvador de Tábara, mid-tenth century
15 1/4 x 11 inches (385 x 200 mm)
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1919; MS M.644, vol. II (fol. 222v)
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

St. Beatus of Liébana completed his commentary about 776. The long cycles of pictures accompanying it constitute the greatest achievement of medieval Spanish illumination. The Morgan Beatus is important because it is the earliest complete copy and thus stands at the beginning of the Beatus tradition. Although the book was ordered for Escalada (consecrated in 913), it was not made there, as Maius worked in the tower scriptorium at San Salvador de Tábara, where he died and was buried in 968. Maius tells us he made the book so that the "wise may fear the coming of the future judgment of the world's end."

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.