The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Battle between the Horsemen and the Beast

Object Details


The Battle between the Horsemen and the Beast






London (probably), England (Place Created)


about 1255–1260


Tempera colors, gold leaf, colored washes, pen and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig III 1 (83.MC.72), fol. 41


Leaf: 31.9 × 22.5 cm (12 9/16 × 8 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies united in making war with him who sat on the horse and with his army. (Apocalypse 19:19)

The seven-headed beast that resembles a leopard returns to the story and makes its final stand against the forces of heaven. The man on the charging white stallion confronts the beast and is usually understood as Christ. The shields of his opponents bear the image of a horned and hook-nosed demon, as opposed to his own Christian cross. The way the soldier on his charging white horse dominates the miniature and crowds the armies of the beast into the right corner assures the viewer of Christ's ultimate victory.

The Apocalypse and Other Visions in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts (April 16 to June 30, 1991)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 16 to June 30, 1991
Illuminating the Past: Historical Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (February 2 to April 11, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), February 2 to April 11, 1993