Bay 41 (Joseph the Patriarch)

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Panel 16 - Joseph interprets the dreams of Pharaoh's baker and cup-bearer


 © Stuart Whatling, 2008

Description:
Genesis 40 tells how Pharaoh's baker and cup-bearer (or butler - pincernas in the Vulgate) have both been imprisoned after earning their master's wrath. Each has a dream one night - the cup-bearer that he sees a fruitful vine and presses the grapes into Pharaoh's cup while the baker dreams that he is carrying a basket on his head from which the birds were stealing the bread. Joseph correctly predicts that in three days the cup-bearer will be freed and exonerated while the baker will be hanged (see also Poitiers Bay 111a). The artist here has condensed two narrative moments into one - the having of the dreams and Joseph's subsequent explication of them. Joseph stands in the centre, while other side we see the contents of his cellmates' dreams.