Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Not currently on view
The Lamb Defeating the Ten Kings
Northern Spain, Spain (Place created)
about 1220 - 1235
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
Leaf: 29.4 x 23.5 cm (11 9/16 x 9 1/4 in.)
This miniature once formed part of a lavishly illustrated manuscript containing a commentary by Beatus of Liébana on the Bible's highly enigmatic text concerning the end of the world. The portion of the Apocalypse it originally illustrated describes a vision of a great battle taking place between the Lamb of God and ten kings who personify the ten horns of the beast the Harlot of Babylon rides. In the upper register, the Lamb decapitates each king as he approaches, while in the lower compartment a writhing serpent begins to devour the corpses of the kings who have already encountered the Lamb. The illumination is unusual for its balanced combination of elegant forms and gruesome subject matter.
Beatus of Liébana's Latin Commentary on the Apocalypse (Commentarius in Apocalypsim) was one of the most influential medieval commentaries on the final book of the New Testament. Beatus paired short passages from the Apocalypse with interpretations of the texts as Christian allegories. At the height of its popularity from the 900s to the 1200s, Beatus's commentary was the most heavily illuminated text produced in Spain. The illustrated Beatus as a type has, in fact, become so thoroughly associated with illumination from the region that it is practically a hallmark for Spanish illumination as a whole.
The Bernard H. Breslauer Collection of Manuscript Illuminations (December 9, 1992 to April 4, 1993)
- The Morgan Library & Museum, (New York), December 9, 1992 to April 4, 1993
The Glory of the Gothic Page (December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004
Images of Violence in the Middle Ages (December 21 2004 to March 13, 2005)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 21, 2004 to March 13, 2005
Rare Finds: Ten Years of Collecting Manuscripts (February 12 to April 20, 2008)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 12 to April 20, 2008
Stories to Watch: Narrative in Medieval Manuscripts (February 22 to May 15, 2011)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 22 to May 15, 2011
Gothic Grandeur: Manuscript Illumination 1200-1350 (December 13, 2011 to May 13, 2012)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 13, 2011 to May 13, 2012