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Commentary by Berengaudus
about 1255 - 1260
Tempera colors, gold leaf, colored washes, and ink on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with red morocco
Closed: 33 x 24.1 x 2.5 cm (13 x 9 1/2 x 1 in.)
Saint John the Divine's vision of the events leading to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time, commonly known as the Apocalypse, inspired the creation of many illuminated manuscripts in England in the 1200s. Western Europeans particularly popularized the text at this time because of recent cataclysmic events, including the Tartars' invasion of Russia in the 1230s and the fall of Jerusalem to the Moslems in 1244. These events raised fears that the end of time was at hand.
Every page of the Dyson Perrins Apocalypse, named after a previous owner of the manuscript, contains a brief passage from the Apocalypse written in black ink, a portion of a popular commentary written by a monk named Berengaudus in red ink, and a half-page miniature. The miniatures, executed in a sophisticated tinted drawing technique, faithfully follow Saint John's exceptionally vivid descriptions of his visions and do not particularly reflect Berengaudus's commentary. The illuminator incorporated Saint John experiencing his vision into the majority of scenes, lending authority and a sense of immediacy to the images. As a result, the reader vicariously witnesses the horrific and awesome events unfolding in the Apocalypse along with the saint.
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (July 1 to September 30, 1984) (fols. 18v - 19)
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Gothic Manuscript Illumination: 1250-1375 (January 16 to March 13, 1985) (fols. 9v - 10)
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Illuminated Gothic Manuscripts (January 20 to April 5, 1987) (fols. 9v - 10)
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The Art of the Written Word: Medieval and Renaissance Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts (January 16 to April 1, 1990) (fols. 19v - 20)
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A Thousand Years of the Bible: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (January 15 to March 31, 1991) (fols. 20v - 21)
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The Apocalypse and Other Visions in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts (April 16 to June 30, 1991) (fols. 40v - 41)
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Illuminating the Past: Historical Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (February 2 to April 11, 1993) (fols. 40v - 41)
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Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Musicians and Instruments in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (January 25 to April 10, 1994) (fols. 17v - 18)
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Ars et Ingenium: The Illuminator's Craft and Genius (July 26 to October 9, 1994) (fols. 4v - 5)
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Illuminating the Mind's Eye: Memory and Medieval Book Arts (July 23 to October 6, 1996) (fols. 22v - 23)
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Manuscript Illumination of the 13th Century (January 21 to April 6, 1997) (fols. 32v - 33)
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Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998) (fols. 34v - 35)
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Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001) (fols. 9v - 10)
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Artful Reading in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (December 18, 2001 to March 10, 2002) (fols. 15v - 16)
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Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003) (fols. 34v - 35)
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The Glory of the Gothic Page (December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004) (fols. 22v - 23)
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Landscape in the Renaissance (August 1 to October 15, 2006) (fols. 1v - 2)
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Medieval Beasts (May 1 to July 29, 2007) (fols. 34v - 35)
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Imagining Christ (May 6 to July 27, 2008) (Fol. 4v - 5)
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Pen and Parchment (June 1 to August 23, 2009) (43; fols. 13v - 14)
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Stories to Watch: Narrative in Medieval Manuscripts (February 22 to May 15, 2011) (fols. 16v - 17)
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Gothic Grandeur: Manuscript Illumination 1200-1350 (December 13, 2011 to May 13, 2012) (fols. 21v - 22)
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Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages (May 29 to August 12, 2012) (fol. 7v - 8)
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