Joseph with Jacob in Egypt

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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This was the latest and most advanced of a series of panels that were made to decorate the bedchamber of the Florentine banker Pierfrancesco Borgherini on the occasion of his marriage in 1515. The paintings, commissioned by Pierfrancesco’s father, tell the Old Testament story of Joseph. Five other panels from the series are in the National Gallery’s collection. In this picture (which may not have been part of the original commission) the concluding episodes of the story of Joseph and Jacob are ingeniously condensed. There are four separate moments combined here: Joseph introducing his father Jacob to the Pharaoh of Egypt; Joseph on a chariot, hearing a petition from the victims of famine; Joseph with his sons climbing the staircase to visit the dying Jacob; and Jacob blessing Joseph’s sons.

The National Gallery, London



Joseph with Jacob in Egypt


probably 1518


Oil on wood


H 96.5 x W 109.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1882

Work type



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The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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