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Pontormo: 'Joseph's Brothers beg for Help'
This painting is part of the group: Scenes from the Story of Joseph
This picture formed part of the decoration of the bedroom of Pierfrancesco Borgherini (in the Borgherini palazzo, Florence) and was commissioned to celebrate his marriage in 1515. The decorations also included Pontormo's 'Joseph sold to Potiphar', 'Pharaoh with his Butler and Baker' and 'Joseph with Jacob in Egypt', as well as Bacchiacca's 'Joseph receives his Brothers' and 'Joseph Pardons his Brothers'.

This scene is taken from the Old Testament (Genesis 42: 1-8), and shows Joseph's brothers, who had sold him into slavery, begging for help during a famine. The inscriptions allude to Christ's title of 'Salvator Mundi' (Saviour of the World). A parallel was often made between the lives of Joseph and Christ.

Other paintings in this group: Scenes from the Story of Joseph

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