The Illuminated Apocalypse of Lyon can be traced back to 1445 and 1450, and was written around the literary and artistic environment of Northern France, in the region of Picardie and of Artois.
It was probably produced in Arras or in Cambrai. During the XVI and XVII Centuries, the manuscript was preserved in the Arras region; the bookplates of two renowned bibliophiles of the North of France, Alexandre le Blancq and, after, Maximilien Charles de Coupigny, attest to this.
The text contains 230 Latin verses; the first eight, as an introduction, explain to the reader how to approach the text and the images at the same time, and the last eight are a conclusion. The remaining verses are divided between the miniatures and each page contains four verses. The two at the beginning of the images summarize the Apocalypse, while the two at the end are a commentary of each image.
The way in which the images and the text of the Apocalypse of Lyon are structured makes of this volume a unique work. 48 miniatures illustrate the Apocalypse’s text, using a technique unique for that age, with an extensive range of colors, among which there is a beautiful and powerful vermilion.
The illuminator of the Apocalypse of Lyon is so much more than a simple illustrator.
He had to learn about the genesis of the Apocalypse’s text. It is possible that he was aided by a theologian. All of this makes our illuminator an experienced artist.