The British Library
homeHome  >   Online Gallery  >   Virtual books

Golden Haggadah - Scenes from Genesis, folios 4v - 5.

Turning the Pages - 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 and training.

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.

folio 4v

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.

folio 5

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 Dothan.

  < Pages 7 and 8 (of 32)  

This version of Turning the Pages does not require the Shockwave plug-in. It foregoes the interactive animation that lets you 'virtually' turn pages and brings you the same high-quality images of our greatest books in standard web pages.

You can listen to the audio files on these pages with Windows Media Player

Accessibility Terms of use Site map
Copyright The British Library Board