Golden Haggadah - Scenes from Genesis, folios 4v - 5.
Copyright © The British Library Board
These pages contain more scenes from Genesis. The two artists
responsible for the miniatures belonged to the same workshop and
were familiar with the High Gothic style of the Paris schools that
influenced the Spanish school of illumination. The differences
between the two artists can be attributed to their individual talents
A number of features peculiar to the first artist's cruder style,
such as short stocky figures, exaggerated facial expressions, and
bush-like trees, are evident in the panels here.
Lot and his daughters flee Sodom, leaving behind Lot's wife turned
into a pillar of salt. The step-like moulded ground in the centre
is an Italianate stylistic device meant to create space and depth.
On the right, Abraham's attendants wait for him with a mule; on
the left Abraham binds Isaac. An angel shows Abraham a ram hanging
on a tree trunk, indicating that he should offer that instead.
On the left, blind Isaac is duped into blessing Jacob, with Rebecca
in attendance. On the right Esau returns from hunting with a hare
over his shoulder.
Jacob sleeps on the ground. In his dream he sees two angels ascending
and descending a ladder. Two other angels walk on the ground, one
of whom touches Jacob's head.
On the left, Jacob crosses the river Jabbok with a group; on the
right, a midrashic scene showing Jacob wrestling with an angel.
The river acts as divider between the two scenes.
A panel depicts Joseph's dream in which 12 sheaves bow to a large
sheaf. At the top a human-faced sun and crescent moon can be seen.
Joseph tells his family his dreams and is rebuked by his father.
The first artist often paints buildings in the background but does
not achieve the sense of depth and space of the second artist.
The tree separates two episodes: on the right Joseph asks a man
- the angel Gabriel according to rabbinic legend - the way to his
brothers; on the left, Joseph's brothers pasture their flocks in