MINIATURIST, Spanish
(active around 975 in Tábara)

Beatus of Liébana: Commentary on the Revelation of St. John

975
Manuscript (Ms. 7), 400 x 260 mm
Cathedral Archives, Girona

This 10th-century manuscript contains two separate documents: the Commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana, a late eighth-century manuscript popular in medieval Spain and Jerome's commentary on the Book of Daniel. Produced probably in the monastery of Tábara, it includes 284 folios, each measuring 400 mm by 260 mm, copiously illustrated with 184 surviving miniatures, and has been described as one of the most richly decorated of the Beatus Commentaries, and one of the best documented.

It is recorded that the Commentary on the Apocalypse was illustrated by Emetrius "brother and priest and by En or Ende, "woman artist and servant of God." It might have been produced in a "double house" (a monastery housing both monks and nuns).

The picture shows a miniature from the commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana. It represents the Heavenly Jerusalem as a city of towers and Moorish arches. Architecture haunted the medieval imagination. Heaven was seen as a city or a cathedral. In origin this probably goes back to St John's apocalyptic visions and their imagery of the New Jerusalem.