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Jacopo Bertoia

Jacopo Bertoia (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; III, 141a
Photography by Graham Haber, 2009
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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.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.