Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

Balthasar Griessmann

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 533

In Genesis 39, Joseph resists the advances of his master Potiphar's wife. The Old Testament story reverses the dynamic of familiar rape scenes while retaining the titillating contrast between a nude woman and a clothed male. Here, the figure's movements are confidently handled—the flying folds of his cloak and the strands of streaming hair emphasize Joseph's panicky retreat. Detail is focused less on the anatomical minutiae of the woman's sensuous body than on rendering her luxurious bedroom fittings and elaborate coiffure.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, Balthasar Griessmann (Wasserburg 1620–1706 Salzburg)  , or his circle, Ivory, Austrian

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.