The portrait was intended to remind the viewer of sin and evil. It is opposite a page with a representation of the Heavenly City and the two pages were deliberately planned to show the advantages of a good life and the disadvantages of a bad one.The website has lots of useful information and includes all the photos here. There are some impressive initial letters (e.g., Mark’s Gospel) and other decorations throughout. Interestingly, the only human represented appears to be Josephus. You can download high resolution images from Wikimedia Commons here.
Update: there’s more good info linked in Tommy’s post from 2007.
|The beginning of Mark’s Gospel|