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Agnolo Bronzino, woven by the workshop of Nicolas Karcher, Joseph Flees from Portiphar's Wife, from the Story of Joseph, c. 1548-49, wool, silk, and gilt metal-wrapped thread, 570 x 457 cm, Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Joseph is a biblical hero whose story became a popular subject in art.  He was the son of Jacob and Rachel and most loved by his father--demonstrated when his father gave him a special coat--which angered his brothers.  They intend to kill him but instead sell him into slavery, and he ends up working for the pharoah Portiphar, whose wife falls in love with him.  He rebukes her, but she accuses him of seduction and he is imprisoned.  In jail, he becomes known for interpreting dreams, and is called to do the same for the pharoah.  He predicts a seven-year harvest follwed by a seven-year famine, and with this information Egypt prepares, and Joseph is freed and rewarded.

The many episodes from the story of Joseph as described above often appear in art, but can be difficult to recognize without knowing the story as Joseph has no specific attributes and his appearance changes from child to adult.  The most common scenes include Joseph being sold into slavery, with Portiphar's wife, interpreting dreams, and reconciling with his brothers during the famine.  Sometimes his entire story is told in a single scene, or in a series of images.