APOCALIPSIS DE VAL-DIEU
- Reference: British Library, London. Ms. 17333
- Dimensions: 325 x 225 mm.
- 198 parchment pages. written in Latin and French.
- 83 miniatures enriched with gold.
The Apocalypse of Val-Dieu, created in Normandy around 1330, is part of a small group of four high quality apocalyptic codices, all from the same time and area, with the particularity that it is the only one that includes its translation into French.
This illustrated manuscript is surprising for its excellent state of conservation. As for its history, its origin is not known although it is known that it comes from the North of France, possibly from Normandy. We only know that in the 17th century it was in the library of the Carthusian Monastery of Val-Dieu, since it has its exlibris on the first folio and that the English antiquarian and Hispanist Tomas Rodd sold it to the British Museum in 1848.
<img class=”alignleft wp-image-75182″ src=”https://www.turismo-prerromanico.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/LAVALDIEU2.jpg” alt=”” width=”225″ height=”184″ />Manuscript that in addition to the text of the Apocalypse of St.John of Patmos includes the commentary of Berengaudo. It consists of 108 pages of parchment, with a size of 325X 225 mm, which includes 83 half-page images in golden colors on decorated backgrounds, some with partial leaf edges containing birds and animals, initials framed in colors or gold on colored motifs and text in Latin and French Carolina. In four of the folios the upper part has been removed, that is, the images, leaving only the text at the bottom.
That of Val-Dieu, like the Apocalypses of Metz, Lambeth and Gulbenkian, also created in the northwest of France and also of great quality, with which it forms an extraordinary set among the apocalypses bajomedievales, is related to the Pontifical of Guillaume de Treville and his iconographic program based on the English apocalypses of mid <img class=”alignleft wp-image-75185″ src=”https://www.turismo-prerromanico.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/LAVALDIEU3.jpg” alt=”” width=”225″ height=”178″ />of the 13th century, from which it is distinguished by a different way of presenting the conception of figures and scenes of greater realism, which give great concreteness to the fantastic images of the Apocalypse, with a refined technique and a perfect combination of colors in which the quality of the pictorial tonalities of his miniatures stands out, extremely sophisticated, rich in nuances and great realism in the portrait of the characters, in which surprising and delicate colour shades are used, which are combined with each other with great aesthetic sense.
Of the four, the Apocalypse of Val-Dieu is the most classic court, the closest to the Romanesque aesthetic. It impresses by the purity of its drawings, the true contours, the brilliant and delicate chromaticism of the illustrated scenes, as well as the beauty of the design and the extraordinary readability of its calligraphy.