Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 1696 – 1770

Pharaoh gives his ring to Joseph

oil on canvas (106 × 180 cm) — c. 1734 Museum Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo biography

This work is linked to Genesis 41:42

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Pharaoh had a dream that no one could explain to him. Then his butler recalls the Jewish slave Joseph, who had successfully explained dreams before. Joseph is then brought from his dungeon before Pharaoh. He says the dream means that there will be seven years of great plenty, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph therefore advises Pharaoh to stock up during the good years, so that there will be no famine in the seven bad years.

Pharaoh is impressed by Joseph's wisdom. He appoints him viceroy of Egypt and overseer of the food program. As a token of his authority, Pharaoh gives his ring to Joseph.

The trumpeter to the right may be a self-portrait.

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