To which Testament does the work Joseph’s Tunic by Diego Velázquez refer?
The work “Joseph’s Tunic” by Diego Velázquez refers to the story of Joseph, told in the Old Testament of the Bible. In this story, Joseph’s brothers appear before their father Jacob to tell him that Joseph died because of a wolf attack. In reality, they sold Joseph to Egyptian traders. To make Jacob believe that Joseph is dead, the brothers show their father Joseph’s clothes previously stained with the blood of a lamb.
In “The Tunic of Joseph”, Velázquez depicts Jacob as he receives this news. The father rises from his chair and raises his arms in surprise at the news of his son’s death. A dog is also introduced into the painting, barking because it has noticed the brothers’ lie, unlike Jacob. Velázquez’s The Forge of Vulcan is also a reference to this story, showing the god’s stupor at the news.
By using a strong visual language, Velázquez manages to convey Jacob’s sadness, surprise and disillusionment at this painful news. This painting shows the power of art to tell complex stories in a visual and captivating way.