Los Angeles, The Getty Museum, MS Ludwig III 1

Getty Apocalypse Facsimile Edition

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The Getty Apocalypse is one of the most beautiful gothic apocalypses manuscripts from England. In the course of the 13th century, as prominent preachers predicted the end of the world, there was almost suddenly an increase in demand for illuminated manuscripts of Revelation, the culminating book of the New Testament, known as the Apocalypse of John the Divine. With over 80 elegantly illustrated miniatures and more than 40 historiated initials the Getty Apocalypse is to be considered one of the finest example of the genre.

Getty Apocalypse – A Sequence of Divine Revelation

The Getty Apocalypse, also known as the Dyson Perrins Apocalypse, was written and illuminated with over 80 astounding illustrations exemplifies an exceptional artistic achievement. The miniatures are purposely placed in succession above the text creating a sequence of divine revelation, leading the viewer through John’s poetic, dramatic vision of the Apocalypse.

These miniatures, amongst the finest from the Middle Ages, are gracefully delineated in tinted color embellished with gold and silver leaf. Each illustration is evidence of great artistic mastery, understanding of color, and ability to express emotion through gesture and expression.

Unsurprisingly, the Revelation book has always been very appealing to readers, for it tells the story of the never-ending battle between good and evil, the end of the world, and the fate of the saved and the damned. Due to its awe-inspiring theme, it is a powerful work which requires a powerful imagery, filled with dark and, at time, disturbing details.

Powerful Imagery and Entertainment-oriented Initials

The Dyson Perrins Apocalypse, named after a previous owner, in addition to featuring the miniatures with their corresponding passages, also provides an extract from the commentary by Berengaudus, a theologian who lived in the second half of the 11th century, interpreting and explaining John’s vision.

An important feature of the iconographic apparatus of the Getty Apocalypse is its frequent use of historiated initials – 42 in total – primarily intended as entertainment and amusement. The artist creates delightful secular scenes, such as acrobats or character of an Aesop’s fable.

The figure of John witnessing every scene enhances the sense of immediacy and urgency that characterizes the Getty Apocalypse, whose narrative is dramatic as it involves the reader in the process of revelation.

Gothic Textura

The codex exhibits an exquisite example of gothic script, namely Gothic Textura. Typical of the script are the two forms of r, sharp, straight, angular lines, and the use of abbreviations. It is uncertain how many scribes took part to the transcription of the text.

Binding description

As many medieval manuscripts, unfortunately the Getty Apocalypse lost its original binding.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Getty Apocalypse": Getty Apocalypse facsimile edition, published by The Folio Society, 2011

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Manuscript book description compiled by Facsimile Finder Staff.

Getty Apocalypse

London: The Folio Society, 2011

  • Commentary (English) by Morgan, Nigel J.
  • Limited Edition: 1000 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Getty Apocalypse: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

Quarter-bound in Wassa Goatskin with vegetable parchment sides. Printed and blocked in four foils with a design by David Eccles. Printed on Furioso paper with gilded and shuffled page edges. Ribbon marker. The gold and silver leaf on the original manuscript have been replicated in metallic foil, which has then been over-printed to reduce its glare and give it the effect of age.

The facsimile edition is presented in a buckram-bound solander box.

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approx US$ 745

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