Location City: Vienna

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

The Vienna Genesis

Giorgione The Three Philosophers detail
These three learned men differ in age, outlook, and dress. But do they represent religions, eras, or philosophies?

Giorgione, Three Philosophers

Correggio, Jupiter and Io, detail
With her open mouth, tilted head, and soft flesh, Io exudes sensuality, giving herself up willingly to Jupiter.

Correggio, Jupiter and Io

The Coronation Mantle
Made for a Christian ruler by Islamic artisans, this cloak is full of Islamic motifs and cosmological references.

Coronation Mantle

Venus of Willendorf
The name of this prehistoric sculpture refers to a Roman goddess—but what did she originally represent?

Venus of Willendorf

Feathered headdress
The Mexica were long-distance traders, and Tenochtitlan received luxury goods from distant conquered cities.

Aztec feathered headdress

Dioskourides, Gemma Augustea, 9 - 12 C.E., 19 x 23 cm, double-layered sardonyx with gold, gold-plated silver (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)
Even the smallest carvings, seen only by a select few, could carry a strong political message.

Gemma Augustea