Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria, J.II.1 (olim lat.93)

Beatus of Liébana - Turin Codex Facsimile Edition

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Although the reputation as works of art enjoyed today by the Beatus Commentaries on the Apocalypse is based on the early codices written in Visigothic script (the Escorial, Seo de Urgel and San Millán de la Cogolla copies, and others), about 15 other copies have survived which are written in Carolingian script or Gothic, and the artistic quality of these codices, both in their calligraphy and the execution of their miniatures, makes them worthy successors to the Visigothic examples which they were modelled on.

One of these later works is that conserved in the National Library in Turin, under reference Ms.J.II.I (previously Lat.93), which we now know certainly to have been based on the the magnificent Gerona Beatus, which was finished by Senior, Emeterius and Ende in León in 975, and given to Gerona church by its precentor John in 1078.

The Turin Beatus is made up of 214 parchment folios measuring 360 x 275 mm, with the text arranged in two columns and 42 lines per folio. The script used is a late Carolingian of fine quality, written with a cut pen in Gothic fashion, which enables us to trace the copy to the 12th century and to Gerona Cathedral itself.

It contains 106 miniatures (93 in the Beatus Commentary and another 13 in the Book of Daniel), in which the copyist follows the composition used in the Visigothic Gerona Beatus, but uses other techniques with regard to colours and the drawing of the clothing, thus distancing himself from the so-called Mozarabic monks and moving into the Romanesque style proper to his own era.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Beatus of Liébana - Turin Codex": Beato de Turín facsimile edition, published by Testimonio Compañía Editorial, 2000


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