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Joseph and his brothers, stained glass panel, After Jan Snellinck, German, Rhineland, c.1600

Clear glass with brown paint inscription in yellow stain text over black

Height: 264mm
Width: 206mm

Museum number: SG64

Curatorial note

Joseph steps out from a doorway on the right with another man while his brothers kneel pleading before him. In the background the brothers are shown filling sacks outside a building.

The panel is after a print in the Testamenti Sacrarum of 1585, No. 6 of seven prints inscribed on No. 1 [?] Gerard. de Jode exud. The print was also published in the Theatrum Biblicum of 1674 and ascribed to Marten de Vos in the Witt Print Collection, but the subject does not feature in Hollstein's Volume XLIV devoted to prints of De Vos' works. Mielke attributes the design to Jan Snellinck from the Escorial copy of the Testamenti Sacrarum. Some figures are omitted. Gothic lettering in the text states: Wie ein Konigh Joseph Bettet (Rettet?) /Ahn der zehn gebrüder Schar /Ehevrug machete ihn domitten /Von de Draume(Dräume?) klar und Wahr. As the king accommodates (saves?) Joseph, (Ahn) of the group of ten brothers, the wife in the meantime tells him about the dream(s), (Transcription and translation provided by Paul Sharpling, because of legibility problems this is tentative). The print is inscribed: Bis quinos fratres fruges Iosephus ementres, Esse reos turpis proditionis ait.

The painting style is similar to SG62, Benjamin Takes Leave of his Father, and is likely to be from the same north German workshop under Netherlandish influence.

The octagonal lantern in the Breakfast Room retains seven of its original eight glazing panels with subjects set within colour glass borders. Five of these depict scenes from the life of St Teresa of Avila, the other two illustrate biblical subjects from the lives of Joseph and his brother Benjamin. Soane, in his 1830, 1832 and 1835 editions of the Description says In the Dome is an octangular [sic] Lantern with eight scriptural subjects, surmounted by a bell-light.


Hans Mielke, ‘Antwerpener Graphik in der 2 Halfte des 16 Jahrhunderts’, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgesichte 38 (1975): 29-83
The Witt Print Collection, Courtauld Institute Galleries, Somerset House, London
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 192

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk