Scenes from the Life of Joseph

Unknownabout 1250–1260

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The eight scenes on this page tell the story of the life of Joseph, beginning in the upper left corner with the young Joseph bringing food to his brothers. Continuing the narrative down the left side of the miniature, Joseph's jealous brothers strip him of his multi-colored coat and throw him into a well. On the right side of the page, Joseph is pulled out of the well and sold into slavery by a tribe of merchants. The two center roundels depict the brothers dousing Joseph's jacket in the blood of a sheep and presenting it to their father as proof of Joseph's death. The series of roundels and partial roundels, which recalls the colors and layout of contemporary stained-glass windows, contrasts Joseph's kind gesture with the despicable treatment he receives in return.


  • Title: Scenes from the Life of Joseph
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about 1250–1260
  • Location Created: Paris, France
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 19.2 × 13.3 cm (7 9/16 × 5 1/4 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.MK.95.15v
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig VIII 4, fol. 15v
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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