Joseph Cast into the Well
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Master of Jean de Mandeville
French, Paris, about 1360 - 1370
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment

MS. 1, V1, FOL. 39

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Because of its dramatic historical narratives, more illuminations accompany the book of Genesis than any other portion of the Historical Bible . This miniature from the Genesis cycle of illuminations features Jacob's most beloved son, Joseph. Thrown into a well by his jealous brothers, Joseph cowers, naked and vulnerable. Later, his brothers will sell him to the Ishmaelites and drop his robe into the blood of a goat to convince their father that a wild beast has killed him. On the left side of the image, two of Joseph's brothers are slaughtering the necessary goat.

The illuminator worked in a courtly style, creating figures that move with ease and grace against the richly patterned ground.

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Rubric above miniature
Rubric above miniature