Hans Holbein the Younger 1497/8 – 1543

Pharaoh's Dream

woodcarving (60 × 85 mm) — 1538 Museum Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Hans Holbein the Younger biography

This work is linked to Genesis 41:1

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Pharaoh has two bad dreams. In the first seven fat cows are devoured by seven lean cows. In the second seven thin ears of corn eat seven full ones.

Holbein shows the dreams to the right.

The next day he asks his magicians what the dreams mean, but they could not interpret them. Pharaoh's chief butler then remembers the young Hebrew man who excelled at explaining dreams: Joseph.

The print is one of about 90 Holbein made on the Old Testament. They were first published in 1538 in the Biblia Utriusque Testamenti iuxta Vulgatam Translationem. Holbein made the sketches, Veit Rudolf Specklin cut the wood.

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