This is one of the panels that decorated the bedchamber built for Pier Francesco Borgherini on the occasion of his marriage in 1515. This was the latest and most advanced of a series painted for the room by several Florentine artists. The decorations also included Pontormo's 'Joseph sold to Potiphar', 'Pharaoh with his Butler and Baker' and 'Joseph's Brothers beg for Help', as well as Bacchiacca's 'Joseph receives his Brothers' and 'Joseph Pardons his Brothers'.

The paintings tell the life of Joseph from the Bible (Genesis 47: 13 and 48). In this painting (which may not have been envisaged in the original commission) the concluding episodes of the story of Joseph and Jacob are ingeniously condensed. There are four separate episodes combined here. They show Joseph introducing his father Jacob to the Pharaoh of Egypt; Joseph on a cart, hearing a petition; Joseph with one of his sons (probably Ephraim, the eldest) climbing the staircase to visit the dying Jacob; and the dying Jacob blessing Joseph's sons.

Product Code NG1131
artist Pontormo
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Joseph with Jacob in Egypt Print


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