Cardeña Beatus

Cardeña Beatus f. 96r, The angel with the second trumpet: the burning mountain is cast into the sea

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f. 96r, The angel with the second trumpet: the burning mountain is cast into the sea

The square-shaped illustration, undoubtedly the work of Magius, appears in a similar fashion in both branches IIa and IIb. As in the Escalada Beatus, the Gerona, Valcavado and Fernando I miniaturists employ exquisite frames–a style evolving towards the simplicity of the San Pedro de Cardeña Beatus, which lacks the mons ardens inscription found in the Rylands Beatus. The San Pedro de Cardeña Beatus illustration is one of its artist’s most brilliant and colourful with sepia, blue, red, green and gold tones in a feast of elegant and finely executed drawing. Certain details such as sunken ships and fish in the sea are missing whilst in the Arroyo Beatus, they constitute a detailed and accurate description of the vessels of that period. As Williams points out, the naked corpses can only be explained as shipwreck victims. They are of the same number in the Valcavado codex, but increase to six in the Manchester (f. 127v) and the Gerona Beatus.

Ángela Franco Mata
Chief of the Medieval Antiquities Department, Museo Arqueológico Nacional
(Fragment of the Cardeña Beatus commentary volume)


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