(Parma 1544–ca. 1573 Parma)
Joseph in Prison Interpreting the Dreams of Pharaoh's Butler and Baker
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over graphite; squared in pen and brown ink
9 11/16 x 8 11/16 inches (246 x 221 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910
This drawing was recently identified as Bertoia's study for one of four lunettes with Old Testament episodes involving dreams in the Villa Farnese at Caprarola north of Rome. It portrays Joseph of the Old Testament among his fellow prisoners. The figure at right with a raised arm apparently is the baker, who related his dream as follows: "I had three white baskets on my head: and in the uppermost basket there was all manner of bakemeats for the Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them." The man at left is the butler.