The Douce Apocalypse

The Douce Apocalypse was a special favourite with William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones when they were students at Oxford. It is one of several richly illustrated manuscripts of the Apocalypse made in England in the thirteenth century that Morris considered ‘examples of serious Gothic design at its best … [they] seem to show us what wall-pictures of the period might have been in the north of Europe’. The manuscript was never finished, and the illustrations are in various states of completion. Some survive as exceedingly sensitive line drawings; others have their gold leaf added, while others are partly coloured. The Douce Apocalypse is nevertheless a masterpiece of medieval art, and in 1894 Morris even considered making a facsimile of it; there is a record of his seeing the manuscript in November that year.