Girona Beatus

Girona Beatus f. 76r, Message to the Church of Smyrna

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f. 76r, Message to the Church of Smyrna

This miniature is noteworthy because it is preceded, on folio 75v, by the sentence “INCIPIT EC[C]L[SI]A SE[CUN]DA STORIE/SUB SEQVENTES PICTURE”: yet further proof that this manuscript was intended to be illustrated. Once again, St John is depicted on the left with the book and the angel standing talking to him with a scroll rolled up in his right hand – which contradicts the meaning of the message being transmitted. Between them are the words “ioannes/cum/angelo”. On the right is the temple with three of its horseshoe arches beneath another large arch with “EGLESIE EZMIRNE” written upon its voussoir. Each arch features curtains and an altar set upon slender columns with a pediment base, geometric capitals and cymatium upper section. The image in the Gerona Beatus is unlikely to reflect a real temple, unless it had been distorted for reasons of symmetry. The upper area is more unrealistic and must refer to a tall body rather than a tower above the nave. Since it is situated in the altar area, it may evoke the existence of small, independent chambers arranged in this manner which were inaccessible from the inside and could only be entered from outside, albeit it by tall openings.

Carlos Miranda García-Tejedor
Doctor in History
(Fragment of the Girona Beatus commentary volume)


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