Umberto Eco. Texts by Luis Vázquez de Parga Iglesias, Umberto Eco
1973 / 176 PAGES
Beatus, abbot of Liébana, in the 8th century, wrote a commentary on the Apocalypse. Umberto Eco in turn wrote a Comment on the commentary, illustrated by the miniatures of a rare Mozarabic manuscript.
In the 8th century, prompted by fears over the millennium's end, Beatus, abbot of Liébana and Visigoth bishop, wrote an obscure and brilliant commentary on the Apocalypse. It became such a bestseller that it was copied countless times in the following two centuries by artists and scribes. This is the origin of the Beatus manuscripts whose success went beyond the year 1000 to become the most important iconographic sources for Romanesque 'marmorini' and the builders of the great cathedrals. This volume reproduces the miniatures of the finest Beatus manuscript: that of Fernando I and Sancha of Aragon, shelf-marked VIT 14-2 in the National Library of Madrid. While scholars have connected other manuscripts to Paleo-Christian archetypes taken from Carolingian art, the codex of Fernando I and Sancha belongs entirely to the Mozarabic culture. The miniature was often lost in abstract and very vibrant chromatic zones, and the images, far from any naturalism, show oriental and exotic shapes and animals. The Commentary of the cleric of Liébana, fatefully timeworn, is replaced in this edition by the text by Umberto Eco, whose dual expertise as a semiologist and medievalist provides a lucid, elegant comment on the Commentary.