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Apocalypse Illuminated


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Table of Contents

ContentsList of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsList of Abbreviations Introduction1 John's Apocalypse and Its Interpretation2 The First Illustrated Apocalypses3 Beatus Apocalypses and Spanish Monasticism4 The Apocalypse Allegorized, Moralized, and Historicized5 The Epitome of Apocalypse Illustration: The Anglo-French Tradition6 The Apocalypse at the End of the Middle AgesConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex of ManuscriptsIndex of Biblical ReferencesGeneral Index

About the Author

Richard K. Emmerson is Visiting Distinguished Professor of Art History at Florida State University and Dean Emeritus of Liberal Arts, Manhattan College. He is the author of Antichrist in the Middle Ages: A Study of Medieval Apocalypticism, Art, and Literature, coauthor of The Apocalyptic Imagination in Medieval Literature, and coeditor of The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages.


"Emmerson's wide-reaching analysis of Apocalypse illuminations achieves a successful balance between focusing on individual books and situating them within their historical contexts. Handsomely produced, it will interest all who are drawn to these stunningly beautiful illuminated books of scripture."-Renana Bartal, Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art & Architecture

"Lavishly adorned with photographs of noteworthy Apocalypses selected from the most important, interesting, and influential illustrative traditions, the book focuses on recurring apocalyptic patterns, events, figures, and motifs that characterize medieval Apocalypse illustrations, in order to substantiate historical and stylistic comparisons, trace iconographic continuities over time, and highlight innovative features."-New Testament Abstracts

"In this graciously, colorfully illustrated book, Emmerson sums up decades of research on Revelation in medieval art to provide a sweeping overview of St. John's Apocalypse manuscripts from the ninth-century Carolingian Renaissance to the cusp of the printing press."-Jonathan Homrighausen, Theological Studies

"[I]t is his sympathetic grasp of how the images function, grounded in an extensive knowledge of the manuscripts and the subtle nuances of medieval exegetical traditions, which makes this book so compelling. Readers will find in Emmerson a trustworthy and illuminating guide, like the interpreting angel of John's Apocalypse or the ever present figure of John himself."-Ian Boxall, Review of Biblical Literature

"Just as Virgil led Dante through the underworld, so too Richard Emmerson guides his readers through the visionary landscape of medieval Apocalypse illustration from its early medieval origins right through to the Reformation. One could ask for no better guide. The culmination of a career dedicated to the expert examination of the Book of Revelation and its immeasurable impact on medieval culture, Emmerson's book provides a confident overview peppered with penetrating insights."-Jeffrey F. Hamburger, author of St. John the Divine: The Deified Evangelist in Medieval Art and Theology.

"A tour de force of scholarship that brings together manuscript studies, art history, literary studies, and the history of apocalyptic theology in a compelling and readable summary of the history of medieval illustrations of the Book of Revelation. This is a paradigmatic example of the interdisciplinary approach that is so often praised and so seldom really practiced."-Bernard McGinn, author of The Foundations of Mysticism: Origins to the Fifth Century

"This splendid study, the product of a lifetime of novel research, refocuses the discourse on historical apocalypticism. Richard Emmerson demonstrates that medieval illustration of this most visual and sensorial of biblical texts was an exegetical act. Rather than a product of passing, prognostic impulses, the illuminated Book of Revelation is located at the center of medieval epistemology. The result is a work as rich and compelling as the subject it explores."-Richard A. Leson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"If I may follow medieval exegetes in seeking meaning beneath surface content, I would suggest that this book's most profound contribution lies less in its elucidation of medieval Apocalypse manuscripts (though it does that beautifully) than in its revelation of pictorial art's capacity to exceed its textual referents-to comment on, redirect, defy, sharpen, expand, transform, in short, to illuminate the words that join it. In this sense it is essential reading not just for art historians but for anyone interested in medieval techniques of communication."-Jacqueline E. Jung, Speculum

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