This panel is composed of pieces of silk in different colours, sewn together, mounted on a canvas and highlighted with paint.
The scene depicts an episode from « The Story of Joseph »: Joseph nominated as Governor by the Pharoah and First Intendant. It is taken from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 42:
…. The seven years of abundance came to an end, and the seven years of famine began in Egypt. There was famine in all the lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.
Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, he said unto his sons Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt : get you down thither, and buy for us from thence ; that we may live, and not die. But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren.
And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came … And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew him not. Using his authority he treated them as spies but they defended themselves by talking about their family.
Then Joseph secretly commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way. Then he bound Simeon and he said to them: Bring your youngest brother unto me, then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men; so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land.
And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them.
The scene is probably inspired by an engraving.
The borders are typical of the ornamental motifs of the second School of Fontainbleau, as seen, for example, on the fireplaces of the Château d’Ecouen.
Period: France, late 15th century, early 16th century.
Height 189 cm.
Width 383 cm.