(active 1260s in London)

Lambeth Apocalypse

Manuscript (Ms. 209), 272 x 196 mm
Lambeth Palace, London

For artists, throughout the Middle Ages and into the modern era, giving pictorial form to the extraordinary visions in the Revelations of St John posed a unique challenge. English book illumination of the 13th century, in the Romanesque era, accomplished a major achievement in this genre of illustration. The Lambeth Apocalypse is written in a script of exquisite calligraphy, decorated with initials coloured economically in red and blue or gold and with delicate ornamental margins The 78 half-page painted and gilded illustrations follow the text of the Revelation closely, translating into visual terms the apocalyptic visions of the biblical seer.

On folio 5r, the second of the creatures originating in the visions of Ezekiel, the lion, symbol of St Mark the evangelist, is seen from bending from heaven toward John and proclaiming its ill tidings. One of the four horsemen of the apocalypse is wielding a great sword.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.