Nicolas de Poilly, French, 1675-1741
Title: The Finding of Joseph's Cup in Benjamin's Sack
Date: 1698
Medium: Oil on canvas
98 x 130 cm
Credit Line: Milltown Gift, 1902
Object Number: NGI.1684
Exhibition HistoryVon Poussin bis Monet. Die Farben Frankreichs, Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, 10 October 2015 - 17 January 2016
Label TextJoseph was sold into slavery by his jealous elder brothers, yet rose to become a trusted servant of the Egyptian Pharaoh. During a famine, his brothers travelled to Egypt to buy corn. Unable to reveal his true identity, Joseph hid his silver cup in the sack of youngest brother Benjamin and had them arrested. The artist showed the figures reacting with extreme emotion as the cup is discovered. The fine Irish frame was added in the 18th century, when this picture was attributed to the classicist Nicolas Poussin.