At the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna

The National Library of Austria in Vienna houses several museums. The 18th century Baroque State Hall is one of our favorites to visit. Don't expect the Vienna Genesis to be available to see however, since works on paper are prone to light damage and are rarely on exhibit. Check the library's website to see what's on view. If you can't get there in person, virtually explore the library here with Smarthistory as your guide.

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the National Library of Austria's website

The <em>Vienna Genesis</em>
The Vienna Genesis

Silver ink on purple parchment—what luxury! This is the oldest surviving illustrated biblical text.

<em>The Story of Jacob</em> from the Vienna Genesis
The Story of Jacob from the Vienna Genesis

A family outing begins with a river crossing and ends with Jacob wrestling an angel. This story twists and turns.

Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well, <em>Vienna Genesis</em>
Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well, Vienna Genesis

One image, two episodes—and three cultures. This narrative of Rebecca contains multitudes.