Analysis of Rembrandt
The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife is told in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, chapter 39. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and bought by Potiphar, a high ranking official in the Pharaoh's service. "The Lord was with Joseph," and gave him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar and before long Joseph was given the highest position in the household, and left in charge when Potiphar was away. Now Potiphar's wife found Joseph to be very good looking and had approached him several times saying "come to bed with me;" and Joseph being a man of God would not sin against his master or the Lord, so he refused her. One day when all the servants were gone, Joseph entered the house and Potiphar's wife approached him and while holding on to his cloak said "come to bed with me".
Joseph refused and left the house leaving his cloak behind. Potiphar' Wife screamed for help saying that Joseph had attacked and tried to sleep with her. When her husband came home she told him the same false story. Potiphar was so angry at Joseph he had him locked up in Pharaoh's prison. "But while Joseph was in the prison, the Lord was with him." This is the subject matter for which Rembrandt choose to do his representational painting by. The content of the painting all reveals Rembrandt's interpretation of the story.
This is the account from the Bible of the accusation of Joseph by Potiphar's Wife. Rembrandt Van Ryn chose this particular story as the subject of his narrative painting completed in 1655, under the title of "Joseph Accused By Potiphar's Wife". Before researching this painting, I noted my fist perception of Rembrandt work of art. I realized through that...