The Beatus of Facundus (1047)

In the 8th century, in a monastery in the mountains of northern Spain, 700 years after the Book of Revelations was written, a monk named Beatus set down to illustrate a collection of writings he had compiled about this most vivid and apocalyptic of the New Testament books. Throughout the next few centuries his depictions of multi-headed beasts, decapitated sinners, and trumpet blowing angels, would be copied over and over again in various versions of the manuscript. Below is a selection of images from one such manuscript known as the Beatus de Facundus (or Beatus de León), dating to 1047 and painted by a man called Facundus for Ferdinand I and Queen Sancha. It is composed of 312 leaves and 98 miniatures.

John Williams, author of The Illustrated Beatus, explores more in his article for The Public Domain Review, “Beatus of Liébana“.

Housed at: Wikimedia Commons | From: Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: PD Wikimedia
Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions




















































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  • Marialena Carr

    As a longtime fan of the illuminated Beatus manuscripts, I’m thrilled to find this piece. The color and expression of these 11th c works are timeless. Thank you for bringing them to light!