Manuscript Leaf with Initial S, from a Gradual Date: second quarter 15th century Geography: Made in probably Mainz, Germany Culture: German Medium: Tempera, ink, and metal leaf on parchment Dimensions: 19 3/4 x 14 1/8 in. (50.1 x 35.9 cm)
Illustrated Beatus manuscripts bring to life an extraordinary vision of the end of the world, as recorded by Saint John in the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) and filtered through the lens of Beatus of Liébana, an eighth-century Asturian monk. These manuscripts are unique to medieval Spain and a testament to the pervasive artistry and intellectual milieu of monastic culture there. The leaf shown here comes from a manuscript disassembled in the 1870s.