Joseph Interpreting the Dreams of Pharaoh

Attributed to Jörg Breu the Younger German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 640

This painting’s subdued tonality and matte surface result from the materials and technique employed: a water-based medium on ungrounded fine-weave canvas, known by the German term Tüchlein. Such early forays into what would become oil on canvas offered artists a lightweight and economical alternative to large-scale panel paintings or tapestries. Their disadvantages are also apparent, however, in that their surfaces were easily worn and damaged by moisture. This rare surviving example is unfinished, but was probably conceived as part of a series devoted to the story of the Old Testament patriarch Joseph, who is seen here standing in an anachronistic Renaissance palace interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh.

#2629. Joseph Interpreting the Dreams of Pharaoh

Joseph Interpreting the Dreams of Pharaoh, Attributed to Jörg Breu the Younger (German, Augsburg ca. 1510–1547 Augsburg), Distemper on linen

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