The Facundus Beatus was illuminated by Facundus for the monarchs of Castile and León, Ferdinand I and Doña Sancha, and remained in their library until their death. Its striking colors, peculiar drawings and unreal atmosphere subject the imagination to a veritable tyranny. Once seen, never forgotten.
The Facundus 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. For more information on the Beatus model, read our blog article by Amy R. Miller (PhD, Medieval Art History, University of Toronto).
Taken as a whole, this is one of the most beautiful examples of the Spanish miniature and, of course, of the beatus manuscripts in terms of the rigor of its drawings, its syncretism between respecting the past whilst welcoming the present, its virtually classic regard for order and compositional structure and finally, its use of colour to create chromatic effects conjuring up different, very elegant and yet highly solemn atmospheres totally unlike anything else in the High Middle Ages. Its lavish images mark the beginning of one of the most outstanding iconographic traditions of the entire history of western art.
We have 2 facsimiles of the manuscript "Beatus of Liébana - Facundus Codex":
- Beato de Fernando I y Sancha facsimile edition published by Club Bibliófilo Versol, 2006
- Beato de Liébana, códice de Fernando I y doña Sancha facsimile edition published by M. Moleiro Editor, 1994