Jacob's Journey to Egypt

Object Details

Title:

Jacob's Journey to Egypt

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

German

Place(s):

Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany (Place created)

Date:

about 1400 - 1410

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold, silver paint, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 33.5 x 23.5 cm (13 3/16 x 9 1/4 in.)

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Dressed in long robes, an elderly man sets out on a journey. A large group of his relatives follow him, some walking and others riding in a wagon, together with their animals and domestic goods. This image from the Weltchronik shows an episode from the biblical story of Joseph and his father Jacob, the old man seen in the image.

Joseph, whose betrayal by his brothers had led to his enslavement in Egypt, became a successful governor of Egypt during a time of terrible famine in Israel, his homeland. When his brothers were sent to Egypt to ask for food, Joseph sent them home with a message that Jacob and his whole family should move to Egypt, where Joseph would take care of them. The figures in this scene look like the medieval Germans who would have viewed the image, stressing the connection between the viewer and the story's message of forgiveness and generosity.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Picturing the Medieval Family (May 4 to July 18, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 4 to July 18, 1999, (Cat.)