Print: portrait of the twelve disciples, from the Girona Beatus

1 identical illumination

Print: portrait of the twelve disciples, from the Girona Beatus 1 identical illumination


This image features the twelve apostles, most shown in a three-quarter pose, standing, with a nimbus and making a variety of gestures as if in conversation. They look towards the centre and above them is a legend which reads: “omnes/apostoli/simvl/in vnvm et pa-/tria sortiti svnt”. Their names and the places where they preached are written above each, hence we read from left to right “petrvs”, “roma”; “andreas”, “acaja”, with a book in his hand; “tomas”, “india”, facing straight forward, bearded and with his hands open to show his palms; and “Iacobvs”, “spania”, with a codex in his right hand. The legends on this folio continue with “ioannes”, “asia” above the bearded apostle – the only one in short clothes – with a goblet in his left hand, possibly in reference to Aristodemus’ chalice containing, according to the legend, the drink he attempted to poison him with, and then “mathevs”, “macedonia” over the bearded apostle holding a book; “filipvs”, “gallias” with a codex in his left hand; “bartolom[eu]s”, “licaonia” with a beard and an object that could be a rolled-up phylactery; “symon zelote-/s”, “egjptus” also with a beard and a goblet in his right hand – possibly in reference, as Beatus’ text suggests, to Canaan, the land of his origin where the miracle of the water being turned into wine took place – and a Greco-Roman lyre in his left. Next comes “Iacobvs fr[a]t[er]/d[omi]ni”, “Ierusalem” with a book in his left hand. The following apostle is not identified nor is any mention made of the place where he preached: these details are missing in the text of the Gerona Beatus too but it is in all likelihood St Jude Thaddeus, sent to King Abgarus of Edessa. Finally depicted with a beard and very high forehead, as dictated by tradition and as was to become his usual iconography, is “pavlvs cvm ceteris ap[o]st[o]lis”.



Lámina de los doce apóstoles, perteneciente al Beato de Girona
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