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Illuminating the End of Time: The Getty Apocalypse Manuscript

Overview

The visionary nature of the Apocalypse—the biblical book of Revelation—along with its detailed descriptions of the end of the world have long made it ideal for illustration. Illuminated texts of the Apocalypse were particularly popular in thirteenth-century England, and the copy in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, with its lively narrative miniatures, stands as a testament to the artistic heights achieved during that period.

In this richly illustrated book, all ...

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Overview

The visionary nature of the Apocalypse—the biblical book of Revelation—along with its detailed descriptions of the end of the world have long made it ideal for illustration. Illuminated texts of the Apocalypse were particularly popular in thirteenth-century England, and the copy in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, with its lively narrative miniatures, stands as a testament to the artistic heights achieved during that period.

In this richly illustrated book, all eighty-two of the manuscript’s images are reproduced in color for the first time. They are accompanied by a full commentary. A general introduction to the history of thirteenth-century English illustrated Apocalypse manuscripts is followed by a succinct study of the artistic context of the Getty’s manuscript, as well as a consideration of its style and date. The rest of the commentary is devoted to a stylistic and iconographic analysis of the manuscript’s images; there is also a complete translation of the text.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A unique example of a complete Apocalypse manuscript, offering a vivid insight into the fears of medieval England.”—Fine Books & Collections

 

“A facsimile that for all scholarly purposes is every bit as useful as something costing ten times the price.”—Times Literary Supplement

“Highly recommended.”—Burlington Magazine

“This volume is a beautifully-rendered facsimile. . . . Half of this oversized monograph is comprised of large, luxurious, full-page reproductions of the Apocalypse in which gold foil printing is used to recreate the original gilding.”—Art Libraries Society of North America

“The facsimile of the Getty Apocalypse Manuscript . . . is breathtaking.”—Catholic Sentinel

Library Journal
What better way to experience the oft-predicted end-times of 2012 than by reading about how others illustrated the Book of Revelation in ages past. Medieval manuscript scholar Morgan (art history, Corpus Christi Coll., Univ. of Cambridge; The Douce Apocalypse) here explores the Getty Apocalypse manuscript. He studies the artistic dissimilarities from other English Apocalypses, its stylistic nuances, and its relationship to other manuscripts in the "Westminster Group" to help readers better understand this work of art in its historic and modern contexts. The book includes a brilliant complete reproduction of the manuscript; the reproduction process emphasizes the gold leaf very well. The book also provides a full translation of the text. Especially notable is the inclusion of Saint John of Patmos, named author of the Book of Revelation, in most of the manuscript illuminations. In the text and illuminations, John is depicted as reacting to the events—unusual for its time. VERDICT A valuable resource for scholars, since not all can travel to see the manuscript in person.—Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606060711
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigel J.  Morgan is one of the world’s leading authorities on English illuminated manuscripts of the Apocalypse. He is honorary professor of the history of art at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Corpus Christi College in the United Kingdom, and the author of The Lambeth Apocalypse (Harvey Miller Publishers, 1990) and The Douce Apocalypse: Picturing the End of the World in the Middle Ages (Bodleian Library, 2007).

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