Joseph is taken by the traders to Egypt, where he is sold to Potiphar, captain of the Pharoah’s guard. While in faithful service to Potiphar, Jacob rejects the advances of Potiphar’s wife. She feels scorned, and she became the epitome of the statement often attributed to Shakespeare concerning a woman scorned . . . Joseph is imprisoned where he interprets dreams of fellow prisoners, not always with good news (Genesis 40), and he is forgotten. Some time thereafter, Pharoah has a disturbing dream and one former prisoner-returned-to service-of -the-Pharoah remembers Joseph. Joseph “just happens to be in the right place at the right time.” He remembers Joseph and the Pharoah summons Joseph from prison to interpret his dream. (Genesis 41).
There are a number of paintings of the story about how Potiphar’s wife took a special liking to Joseph and attempted to seduce him. Rembrandt takes that opportunity to study of the human condition and character.
Joseph Accused by Potiphar’s Wife REMBRANDT (1606 – 1669)
See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/360.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and description. For an excellent, detailed analysis of the painting, see http://www.customessaymeister.com/customessays/Fine%20Arts/4078.htm Again, I see in the painting Joseph’s resignation to his fate, without protest, as though there might be some meaning in the madness -yet again.
Joseph Interpreting Pharaoh’s Dream CORNELIUS (1783-1867)
See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/c/corneliu/fresco1.html for the above photograph of the fresco and a description.
Joseph tells the Pharoah that his dream means that a famine is coming, but that the Pharoah can prepare for those hard times because first there will be years of plenty. A grateful Pharoah puts Joseph in charge of storing grain in preparation – a great rags-to-riches story.
Joseph Selling Wheat to the People BREENBURGH (ca. 1598 – 1657)
See http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Breenbergh_Bartholomeus-Joseph_Selling_Wheat_to_the_People for the source of the above photograph of the painting.
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