Bartholomeus Breenbergh 1598 – 1657

Joseph Distributing Corn in Egypt

oil on canvas (110 × 90 cm) — 1655 Museum Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham (UK)

Bartholomeus Breenbergh biography

This work is linked to Genesis 42:6

During the seven years of prosperity, Joseph had the foresight to gather large stocks of corn. When famine broke out, he had enough corn to sell to the hungry.

Here Joseph inspects the market place. He is standing in the top right corner. In the top left is Pharaoh. Joseph was in his service. His brothers had sold him many years ago to Egyptians. Now the very same brothers had been sent to Egypt by their father Jacob, who remained in Canaan. Jacob wanted them to buy corn.

Breenbergh shows a market place with Egyptian elements (the obelisk) and Roman buildings (the church behind Joseph).

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