Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Cloisters Apocalypse

ca. 1330
Made in Normandy, France
Tempera, gold, silver, and ink on parchment
Each page: 12 1/8 x 9 in. (30.8 x 22.9 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1968
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 13
The Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, was, according to European medieval tradition, written by John the Evangelist during his exile on the Greek island of Patmos. The opening chapters recount God’s instructions to the bishops of the seven churches in Asia Minor. The following chapters describe John’s extraordinary account of events to come at the end of time. The colorful illustrations of this manuscript bring these dream-like prophecies to life.

A partly effaced coat of arms within the book suggests that it was created for an aristocratic couple in Normandy, the wife apparently a member of the de Montigny family.
Robert Pecham, Biddlesden and Rome (until d. 1569) ; bequeathed to Thomas Darellus, Douay and Agen (from 1569) ; Antoine de Lescazes, Agen (from 1600) ; Etienne Cauvy, Bordeaux (by 1728, acquired from a travelling merchant) ; Dr. Louis-Maximien Rey, Bordeaux (1835–at least 1895, acquired as gift from a nun) ; baron Auvray, Tours (after 1895–ca. 1920) ; his posthumous sale, Hôtel des Ventes, Tours (June 9-10, 1920, no. 203; to Rothschild) ; Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, Paris (1920–d.1934) ; by descent to Alexandrine de Rothschild, Paris (1934–d. 1965) ; her posthumous sale, Palais Galliéra, Paris (June 24, 1968, no. 2; to Kraus) ; [ H. P. Kraus, New York (1968)]
Cirot de la Ville, Jean-Pierre-Albert. "Sur un Manuscrit de l'Apocalypse avec figures enluminées." Congrès Scientifique de France: 28me session, Bordeaux 2 (September 1861). pp. 365–69, 395–96.

Delisle, Léopold, and Paul Meyer, ed. L'Apocalypse en français au XIIIe siècle. Société des anciens textes français. Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1901. no. 15, pp. IV, XCV–XCVIII and throughout.

Succession de M. le Baron Auvray: Gravures, tableaux, dessins, faïences et porcelaines […] 2e vente. Tours: Hôtel des Ventes, June 9-10, 1920. no. 203.

Tableaux Modernes, Sculptures, Emaux. Paris: Musée Galliéra, June 24, 1968. no. 2.

Deuchler, Florens. "The Cloisters: A New Center for Mediaeval Studies." The Connoisseur 172 (November 1969). p. 146, fig. 13.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ninety-Ninth Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Fiscal Year 1968-1969." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 28, no. 2 (October 1969). p. 85.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. New York: Dutton Publishing, 1970. no. 150, p. 175.

The Cloisters Apocalypse: a Fourteenth-Century Manuscript in Facsimile, Volume 2: Commentaries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971. Discussed throughout.

The Cloisters Apocalypse: a Fourteenth-Century Manuscript in Facsimile, Volume 1: Facsimile. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971. Facsimile reproduction.

Heimann, Adelheid. "Moses Shown the Promised Land." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 34 (1971). p. 324, pl. 53b.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Cloisters Apocalypse." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 30, no. 2 (1971). p. 45.

Deuchler, Florens. "The Cloisters: ein Museum für mittelalterliche Kunst in New York." Du 32, no. 2 (1972). pp. 128–29.

Nickel, Helmut. "A Theory about the Early History of the Cloisters Apocalypse." Metropolitan Museum Journal 6 (1972). pp. 59–72, fig. 1–5, 7.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 32, no. 4 (1973-1974). p. 71.

Cetto, Anna Maria. "Der Dritte Apocalyptische Reiter." Metropolitan Museum Journal 9 (1974). pp. 203–10, fig. 2.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) no. 1965/1975 (1975). p. 147.

Raggio, Olga, ed. Patterns of Collecting: Selected Acquisitions, 1965-1975; Explanatory Texts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. p. 18.

Bennett, Anna Gray. Five Centuries of Tapestry from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. San Francisco, CA: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1976. pp. 32–33.

Nickel, Helmut. "And Behold, a White Horse ... Observations on the Colors of the Horses of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Metropolitan Museum Journal 12 (1977). pp. 179–83, fig. 1–4.

Schmidt, Gerhard. "Die Chorschrankenmalereien des Kölner Domes und die europäische Malerei." Kölner Domblatt: Jahrbuch des Zentral-Dombau-Vereins 44-45 (1979/1980). p. 336 n. 28.

Bell, Susan Groag. "Medieval Women Book Owners: Arbiters of Lay Piety and Ambassadors of Culture." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 7, no. 4 (Summer 1982). p. 762, fig. 13.

Hayward, Jane, and Walter Cahn. Radiance and Reflection: Medieval Art from the Raymond Pitcairn Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982. p. 178.

Mentré, Mireille. Création et Apocalypse: Histoire d'un Regard Humain sur le Divin. Paris: O.E.I.L., 1984. pp. 169, 183–84.

Emmerson, Richard K., and Susanna Lewis. "Census and Bibliography of Medieval Manuscripts Containing Apocalypse Illustrations, ca. 800–1500: Part II." Traditio 41 (1985). no. 86, p. 395.

Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 44, no. 1 (Summer 1986). p. 9, fig. 8.

Burn, Barbara, ed. The Life of Christ: Images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. p. 21, 94.

Jiménez Bonhomme, Manuel. El Apocalipsis: la Historia Iluminada por la Gloria de Cristo. Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1991. pp. 32, 48, 80, 96, 128, 144, 176, 192.

Nickel, Helmut. "A Crusader's Sword: Concerining the Effigy of Jean d'Alluye." Metropolitan Museum Journal 26 (1991). pp. 123, 125, fig. 3.

Benton, Janetta Rebold. The Medieval Menagerie: Animals in the Art of the Middle Ages. New York: Abbeville Press, 1992. pp. 46–47, 51–52, 61–63, 111, 113, 154–55, 157, fig. 38, 60, 96, 136.

Klein, Peter K. "Introduction: The Apocalypse in Medieval Art." In The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, edited by Richard K. Emmerson, and Bernard McGinn. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992. p. 190.

Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. pp. 81–82, fig. 36.

Mentré, Mireille. "Femme de l’Apocalypse et Vierge à l’Enfant." Les Cahiers de Saint-Michel de Cuxa 25 (July 1994). pp. 83–84, fig. 6.

Pérez-Higuera, Teresa. Puer natus est nobis: La iconografia de la Navidad en el arte medieval. Bilbao: Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, 1994. pp. 43, 125, 135, 152, 167, 180, 188–89, 212, 220–22.

Wixom, William D., and Margaret Lawson. "Picturing the Apocalypse: Illustrated Leaves from a Medieval Spanish Manuscript." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 59, no. 3 (Winter 2002). p. 7, fig. 4.

de Hamel, Christopher. The Rothschilds and their Collections of Illuminated Manuscripts. London: British Library, 2005. pp. 21, 31–32, 50–51, 59, pl. 23.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 101.

Gertsman, Elina. Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015. p. 59, fig. 44.

Related Objects

Leaf from a Beatus Manuscript: Christ in Majesty with Angels and the Angel of God Directs Saint John to Write the Book of Revelation

Date: ca. 1180 Medium: Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Accession: 1991.232.3 On view in:Gallery 304

The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen of France

Artist: Jean Pucelle (French, active Paris, 1319–34) Date: ca. 1324–28 Medium: Grisaille, tempera, and ink on vellum Accession: 54.1.2 On view in:Gallery 13

Leaves from a Beatus Manuscript: Bifolium with part of the Genealogy of Christ and the Adoration of the Magi

Date: ca. 1180 Medium: Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Accession: 1991.232.2a-d On view in:Not on view

The Belles Heures of Jean de France, duc de Berry

Artist: The Limbourg Brothers (Franco-Netherlandish, active France, by 1399–1416) Date: 1405–1408/1409 Medium: Tempera, gold, and ink on vellum Accession: 54.1.1a, b On view in:Gallery 13