The Cloisters Apocalypse

Date: ca. 1330

Geography: Made in Normandy, France

Culture: French

Medium: Tempera, gold, silver, and ink on parchment; later leather binding

Dimensions: Overall: 12 3/8 × 9 3/8 × 1 3/8 in. (31.5 × 23.8 × 3.5 cm)
Each folio: 12 1/8 × 9 1/16 in. (30.8 × 23 cm)

Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1968

Accession Number: 68.174


The Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, was, according to tradition, written in Greek by John the Evangelist during his exile on the island of Patmos. Recounting God's instructions to the bishops of the seven churches in Asia Minor, and revealing his own vision of the end of the world and the future kingdom of Christ, the Apocalypse was an extremely popular subject in medieval art. In addition to lavishly illustrated volumes of the Book of Revelation, such as this example, isolated scenes from the Apocalypse appeared with frequency on buildings, small-scale objects, and in an array of medieval books.