The maps of the Blesseds. The revelation of the World in the Middle Ages. Author: Sandra Sáenz-López Pérez. 2014 edition in Burgos. Binding in red hard cover with illustrated jacket. Format 25 x 30.5 cm. 350 pages. Texts in Spanish.
An indispensable book for any good collector of the series of codices of the Beats of Liébana and, in general, for all lover of the Middle Ages and studious of a cultural phenomenon unpublished in the History of the art that lasted more than 4 centuries.
At the end of the eighth century, Beato de Liébana composed the “Commentary on the Apocalypse” in the monastery of San Martín de Turieno. Although it has not reached us in its original state, this work is well known thanks to the numerous copies that were made in the following centuries and that have elevated it like a great creation of the medieval art. The Blesseds (as the corpus is known) are especially acclaimed for their expressive illustrations. Among them is the wonderful world map (or as the author usually writes, “mappaemundi”) that shows the evangelization of the apostles around the world. This image, already present in the archetype manuscript, underwent an interesting evolution as the “Commentary on the Apocalypse” was copied between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. Today, 14 “mappaemundi” are conserved, to which can be added other cartographic works derived or related to them. All these maps constitute the object of study of this book, which examines its evolution taking into account both the manuscript context in which they are inscribed and the European cartographic context, in order to raise, in the last instance, the reconstruction of the original map of the eighth century. Finally, the author brings us to the details that compose these images to make known how the world was conceived in the Middle Ages, and what scientific, historical, symbolic and religious parameters were used in its representation.
Almost at the beginning of his celebrated “Commentary on the Apocalypse”, the monk Beatus presents us the evangelizing mission of the apostles throughout the world. This clear didactic intentionality, which intends to inform about the Christian expansion and the diffusion of the evangelical work, will give rise to a magnificent and memorable graphic vision of the earth, and its transformation into an extraordinary world map that, with curious variants, will be reproduced in The various manuscripts that over the centuries will be copying this Commentary, although unfortunately many of them today have lost it.
Exemplary in perfect condition.
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