Silos Beatus

Silos Beatus f. 18v, The Revelation to St John

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f. 18v, The Revelation to St John

This illustration, framed by a green decorative border with yellow edges, covers the entire folio. Emerging from the corners and around the centre of each side are developed foliate motifs with the typical plant excrescences between them. The illustration is divided into two bands, the larger, top one being dominated by a great horseshoe arch supported by columns that are cut off virtually at the base. Beneath the arch are Christ and two angels: the former on his throne set inside a mandorla and about to give the book to one of the angels. The other angel holds up the mandorla. The top scene is explained by the legend: ubi angelus a d[omi]no librum accepit.

A red, decorative border separates this area from the one beneath, which is not a continuation of the first. John is about to receive the book from the angel in the centre whilst another figure on the right, presents the scene. The image is explained by the gloss: ubi primus iohannes cum angelo locutus est.

The surrounding arch apparently refers to the Churches of the East whose messages are illustrated in the respective miniatures. Dark tones prevail over yellow and red hues although attempts have been made to soften this effect by including small groups of tiny white circles arranged in staggered parallel rows and circles with splashes of other tones of red. In doing so, the artist creates an ethereal atmosphere characterized by an awe-inspiring darkness.

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