“Joseph’s brothers find the silver goblet”, Ivanov – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Joseph’s brothers find a silver cup – Alexander Andreevich Ivanov. Canvas, oil. 49.7 x 63.2 cm

This work A. Ivanov wrote during his stay in Italy. The trip to the young artist was paid by the Society for the Promotion of Arts. In return, he was supposed to send a reporting picture. In search of a plot, Ivanov writes a sketch according to the Old Testament legend from the life of Joseph the Beautiful.

The painter depicts the moment when the servants find in the bag of the youngest of Joseph’s brothers – Benjamin, a stolen silver bowl, supposedly stolen. Joseph was once sold into slavery by his brothers, informing dad about his death. Joseph became a noble man in Egypt. Upon learning that his brothers arrived in the country with commercial affairs, he invited them to his place, sheltered and fed. Conceiving the trick, Joseph ordered the servant to put a silver bowl in the bag of the youngest of the Benjamin brothers to accuse him of theft and toss it away. The brothers are desperate. One of them – Judas, offers himself into slavery instead of Benjamin. He knows that his father will not survive the loss of his beloved younger son. Moved by the self-sacrifice of Judah, Joseph reveals himself to the brothers.

The picture is made in the style of academism. Despite the fact that we have a sketch, the painter managed to convey the sensual glow of the scene. The figure of Judas in the center of the composition is particularly expressive. In desperation, he tears clothes for himself. His face expresses pain and hopelessness. He faces a painful inner choice. A frightened Benjamin clings to him. Other brothers are at a loss. On them shows the hand filled with the pluses of the servant Joseph.

A. Ivanov received positive reviews for his studies from his father, a doctor of painting, and then recognizable painters, Italian Kammuchini and German Overbeck. But the plan was not destiny to translate into a real work. A. Ivanov decided to write an amazing canvas "The appearance of Christ to the people". Work on it distracted the painter from other projects."