The characteristic traits of the Arroyo Beatus make it unique amongst all other Beatus codices. It is considered to be a late Beatus that combines two features: its images contain high Romanesque formulae and elements reminiscent of the illustrative tradition of early medieval Beatus codices, emphasizing its ability to enlighten and convey God’s message more effectively than words. In addition, this codex heralds in a return to the visual bases of classicism.
The Arroyo Codex is part of a group of twenty-seven illustrated commentaries on the Book of Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana, a monk who lived in the Kingdom of Asturias, Spain, until ca. 800.
The stylistic similarities between the Arroyo Beatus and the Cardeña Beatus suggest that it may have been illustrated in the San Pedro de Cardeña Monastery. Abundant use was made of gold and silver in the Arroyo Beatus. The Persian lapis lazuli used to obtain the deepest shades of blue endows the manuscript with a lavishness comparable only with the effect produced by gold leaf. All this reveals the desire to produce a rich manuscript, probably commissioned by Saint Ferdinand III. The manuscript was given to the San Andrés de Arroyo Cistercian Monastery where it was safeguarded by the monks in charge until it was acquired from M. Toca in 1882 by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, where it remains to the present day.
For more information on the Beatus model, read our blog article by Amy R. Miller (PhD, Medieval Art History, University of Toronto).
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Beatus of Liébana - Arroyo Codex": Beato de Liébana, códice del Monasterio de San Andrés de Arroyo, Palencia facsimile edition, published by M. Moleiro Editor, 1998Request Info / Price