MINIATURIST, German
(active 1000-1020 in Reichenau)

Bamberg Apocalypse

1000-20
Manuscript (Ms. Bibl. 140), 295 x 204 mm
Staatsbibliothek, Bamberg

The Bamberg Apocalypse contains the Revelation of St John and an evangelistary. The patron of the manuscript was probably Emperor Otto III (reigned 983-1002). After his death Emperor Henry II (reigned 1002-24) had work on the codex continued. It was produced by the group of miniaturists working in the Benedictine Abbey at Reichenau.

The miniature on folio 29v depicts the woman of the Apocalypse with the dragon. The painter refrained from illustrating every detail of the text. Both the woman and the dragon are represented as stylised symbols. The obligatory architecture at the top right lacks any thematic link to the subject of the picture. The building appears more like a padding, something to fill the void in the pictorial space and ensure a balanced composition.