Turismo Prerrománico > APOCALIPSIS DE CAMBRAI


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To our friend and collaborator Jean-Luc Monneret, without whose exceptional work we could not have included this manuscript.

Notas Previas

Reference: Médiathèque municipale de Cambrai (Ms.B.386).

Dimensions: 310 x 230 mm.

96 pages of parchment. written in Latin and French.

46Full page thumbnails enriched with gold.








Book of images of the Apocalypse of Cambrai that our collaborator J-L Monneret has cleaned and commented. Click the image to access. From the ibro you can access all available information about this Apocalypse.

Entorno histórico

The manuscripts of the Apocalypse are medieval versions of the last book of the New Testament created in Western Europe, generally very different from each other, although in the case of Spain, called Beatos, their text and structure all follow the Commentary to the Apocalypse of Beato de Liébana, but with some images adjusted in each case to the imagination and quality of its author, as well as the state of the art in each moment.

In this case, it is an illuminated manuscript that is supposed to originate from a monastery located in the vicinity of Cambrai, a town in the north of France in whose municipal media is still located. It is one of the four Carolingian Apocalypses that have come to us and that demonstrate the interest at that time for this last book of the New Testament. Like the Apocalypse of Trier, some one hundred years earlier, his images are compositions and classical motifs to illustrate the text, which by the form of his lyrics seems very influenced by the style of the production center of Tours.

Dated around the year 900, by its size we can assume that it was dedicated for public use in some church of Cambrai, from which it must have passed to the cathedral library and from this to its current situation.


Manuscript containing an incomplete version of the Apocalypse of Saint John in its 96 pages, with 46 full page images, accompanied by the text on the opposite page, written in lowercase Carolina. Both the texts and the images are framed, the texts within a simple frame, while those of the images are decorated and are all different.

Inspired by the painting of late antiquity, his images, of great beauty, are usually of complex structure, in very clear compositions that present the characters, sometimes forming large groups, in landscapes with trees and buildings, with a variety of colors, that have lost none of their luminosity after 1100 years.

While the buildings recall the last Roman painting – and some to the paintings of Saint Julian of the Meadows, half a century earlier – and clearly define the type of construction they represent, the characters who wear long tunics in scenes of great vitality in which they are perfectly differentiated by their attitude and manner of dress.

The Apocalypse of Cambrai, one of the oldest manuscripts of this type that has come to us, is also one of the most beautiful and best preserved.