The Illuminated Apocalipsis OF Valenciennes

Date: First quarter of IX Century.
Originl kept:
Municipal Library of Valenciennes, ms. 0099.
273 x 207 mm.
Miniatures: 39 full page illuminated.
Binding: Embossed bovine brown leather.
Estudy: Dr. Peter Klein.


From the beginning of the Christian Era and during the Middle Ages the text of the Apocalipsis inspired and strengthend the artists imagination mainly due to the richness of prophetic visions and the power of their symbols.

In the Apocalipsis of Valenciennes one can see the first remainsof complete cycles of biblical illustrations.

The pages of this Apocalipsis are enriched with 39 coloured miniatures situated next to the text. Each miniature is framed or enmeshed with geometrical elements with small fragments of text that allow the reader to immerse and meditate in the drama.

The manuscripts begin with John of PATMOS who forces the attention of the reader with his gaze and his right hand over his heart while from his mouth seams to appear the first word of the text.

The illustrations of the Apocalipsis of Valencienneshave derived from a series of images that were taken from Roma to the monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow by the Dean Benito Bischoff during a tripin 676.

Although “Otoltus“ is the name of the writer of the Apocalipsis of Valenciennes it is not known his place of origin, his illustrations can be compared in style with miniatures of a contemporary manuscript of the Scriptures from central Renaniaand also to illustration from a manuscript “Carmen Paschale“ of Sedulius from Flanders therefore it becomes
a theme of controversy to establish the origin of the Apocalipsis of Valenciennes.

In Spain the controversy over the origin of the Apocalipsis of Valenciennes has a special significance because it is considered the bases for the miniatures of the Beatos of Liebana. The specialistson these matters coincide in the appreciation that this manuscript is the origin of the images of apocalyptic Europe and conclusively of the Iberian Peninsula.

After the production during the IX century of the miniatures of this manuscript pages 1-3 were incorporated to the history of the arc of Oviedo and the relics that it contained naming the places it passed through : Jerusalem, Cartagena, Toledo and Asturias.

The text dates from XI century and the numbered relics is the official version the cathedral of Oviedo gives to the pilgrims.

The relevance of the Apocalipsis of Valenciennes is due to the fact that demonstrates that both history and tradition relative to the relics are prior to Pelayo.

The facsimile edition of the Illuminated Apocalipsis of Valenciennes is encased for its conservation together with a complementary study book.

Our facsimile consists of a single edition of 995 numbered copies, duly authenticated by notarial deed.


Description                 The Manuscript    


Lagasca, 33 - 1. Izq. / 28001 Madrid (España) / Tel.: (+34) 91 591 45 59 / Fax: (+34) 91 445 05 03 /

Nota legal