Place of interest

1.4. The Beatus

The Beatus of La Seu d’Urgell is an exceptional work of incalculable value. It is a 10th century manuscript, lavishly decorated with miniatures of great chromatic vividness and of enormous symbolic content, of which 239 pages have been preserved.

The commentary on the Apocalypse of St. John was composed by a monk, known as Beatus, at the monastery of Liébana, in the Cantabrian mountains. His writing took place at a time when the Spanish Church appeared to be under increasing pressure from the Muslims of al-Andalus, towards the last quarter of the 8th century. An unknown number of illuminated copies of the text of the Beatus of Liébana were made in the Mozarabic monasteries during the 10th century, of which just twenty or so have been preserved and are distributed among museums around the world, one of them being the Museu Diocesà d’Urgell.

The Beatus of La Seu d’Urgell would have been created at the end of the 10th century. Its iconographic scheme is extraordinary and it has become an invaluable source that tells us about the imagination and mentality of the society of the time and about different aspects of everyday life.

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