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Unfinished Miniature Representing Revelation 11:7-8, In 'The Abingdon Apocalypse'

Unfinished Miniature Representing Revelation 11:7-8, In 'The Abingdon Apocalypse'

Date: 1270

Shelfmark: Additional MS 42555

Item number: f.30v

Length: 33

Width: 20

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

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This Apocalypse manuscript contains the Latin text of the biblical book of Revelation, written on versos, with a commentary in French on the facing rectos, each with a miniature. The manuscript takes its name from two added inscriptions: one states that it was given to the Benedictine abbey of St. Mary, Abingdon, by a bishop of Salisbury; the other records that it was lent by the abbot and convent of Abingdon in 1362 to Joan, wife of King David II of Scotland.

This scene represents the murder of the two witnesses. The fact that it was left unfinished allows us to make deductions about the process of manufacture: the design was sketched in pencil, then inked, then gold and silver were applied, and then flat colours such as blue and pink were applied. A junior assistant was perhaps responsible for details such as the framing-pattern, and the ornament of the text, which is why they are more complete.

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