+ 1-888-787-5890  
   + 1-302-351-4405  

Essay/Term paper: Joseph accused by potiphar's wife

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on History: Joseph Accused By Potiphar's Wife, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife is told in the first

book of the Bible, Genesis, chapter 39. Joseph was sold into

slavery by his brothers and bought by Potiphar, a high ranking

official in the Pharaoh's service. "The Lord was with Joseph,"

and gave him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar

and before long Joseph was given the highest position in the

household, and left in charge when Potiphar was away. Now

Potiphar's wife found Joseph to be very good looking and had

approached him several times saying "come to bed with me;" and

Joseph being a man of God would not sin against his master or the

Lord, so he refused her. One day when all the servants were

gone, Joseph entered the house and Potiphar's wife approached him

and while holding on to his cloak said "come to bed with me".

Joseph refused and left the house leaving his cloak behind.

Potiphar' Wife screamed for help saying that Joseph had attacked

and tried to sleep with her. When her husband came home she told

him the same false story. Potiphar was so angry at Joseph he had

him locked up in Pharaoh's prison. "But while Joseph was in the

prison, the Lord was with him." This is the subject matter for

which Rembrandt choose to do his representational painting by.

The content of the painting all reveals Rembrandt's

interpretation of the story

This is the account from the Bible of the accusation of

Joseph by Potiphar's Wife. Rembrandt Van Ryn chose this

particular story as the subject of his narrative painting

completed in 1655, under the title of "Joseph Accused By

Potiphar's Wife". Before researching this painting, I noted my

fist perception of Rembrandt work of art. I realized through

that as a result of my later research, my first perception did

not change, but instead were enriched and enlarged by a newfound

understanding of the man and his art. I largely concentrated on

my first and later perceptions in the design elements and

principles of lighting or value, infinite space, color, and focal


After conducting research, my first perceptions about the

value, or relative degree of lightness or darkness, in the

painting did not change, but instead I learned that Rembrandt's

use of light and dark was both purposeful and a technique well-

known to the artists of his time. When I first observed this

painting, I thought how dark everything seemed. The only

exceptions to the darkness are the bed and Potiphar's wife, both

of which are flooded in light almost as if a spotlight were

thrown on her and the bed. Some light shines on Joseph's face

and from behind him like a halo around his body, but this light

is very dim. Potiphar in great contrast to his wife is almost in

complete darkness. I first felt there should be more light from

perhaps candles to cast the entire room in partial light. But

after research I found that "Rembrandt liked strong contrasts of

light and dark and used them in his paintings all his life,

letting darkness hide unnecessary details while using light to

bring figures and objects out from the shadows. The high

contrast of light against dark changed an ordinary scene into a

dramatic one ... the Italian word for this use of light and dark

[is] chiaroscuro " (Muhlberger 9). Rembrandt must have believed

that too much detail in the room would have obscured the primary

players of this scene. He uses light to brightly illuminate the

most important person in this painting, Potiphar's wife. In

descending order of importance, Rembrandt places a glow around

Joseph and casts Potiphar in a almost total darkness. I now am

able to see how the contrast of light and dark demonstrates

drastically this crucial turning point in Joseph's life. The

fact that an Italian word exists for Rembrandt's lighting

technique only proves the technique's establishment in the art

world he lived and worked in.

As a result of research, my fist perceptions about the

presence of infinite space in the painting did not change, but

instead I gained an understanding of why Rembrandt employed this

particular technique in his painting. I first noticed before

conducting any research on Rembrandt or this painting how the

walls appear to go on indefinitely; there are no boundaries to

the room. In addition the artist chose not to add and details to

the walls or floor. I believe that the design element of

infinite space, endless space as found in nature, best describes

this technique. Upon conducting my research I found that,

according to Richard Muhlberger, "Rembrandt learned to lavish

attention on small parts of a painting, leaving the rest without

much detail. He knew that details look more impressive

surrounded by areas that are plain; they are harder to notice

when they cover the entire surface of a painting" (16).

Obviously in this painting of Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife,

Rembrandt's purpose in using the design element of infinite space

is to attract the audience to the characters in this story and

not so much their surroundings, with the exception, perhaps, of

the bed. Therefore, my perception of this design element was

only enlarged by the knowledge of Rembrandt's motivation in

including infinite space in his composition.

My first perceptions about the colors in the painting did

not change, but instead I gained an understanding of how the

colors Rembrandt used contributed to the characters'

portrayal/depiction. Color, the character of a surface resulting

from the response of vision to the wavelength of light reflected

from that surface, influences people in various ways. One of the

greatest color affects people is through their emotions. When I

first studied the painting of Joseph being Accused by Potiphar's

wife, the dreary, somber colors left me feeling depressed. I've

never really enjoyed Rembrandt's painting because of his frequent

use of low intensity colors like muddy browns. But then, after

reading the passage in the first book of the Bible, Genesis,

where the story in the painting is recounted, I began to

understand Rembrandt's reasoning behind his choice of colors (at

least) for this particular painting). Joseph is being accused by

his master's wife, the master he has served with all of his

ability, of a crime he has not committed, not even in his mind,

despite the many opportunities the woman has given him. For

Rembrandt to successfully depict Joseph's situation, he "had to

... know the stories he painted and all the characters in them"

(Schwartz 15). Instead of focusing on the luxurious setting of

an Egyptian official's bedroom, Rembrandt chose to underscore the

seriousness of Joseph's situation through color.

After researching Rembrandt's painting, my first perceptions

of the focal point of this composition did not change, but I felt

I understand better how he created the focal point. Before

researching Rembrandt's work, I felt drawn to the woman in this

painting for the mere fact that she is easiest to see and in the

middle of the picture. The design principle, focal point, the

point of emphasis that attracts attention and encourages the

viewer to look further best explains how I was pulled in by

Potiphar's wife. Through my research I discovered Rembrandt, in

order to heighten the importance of Potiphar's wife's action, her

fingers pointing to the robe, placed her fingertips in the middle

of the canvas (Munz 10). Another important placement involves

the bed. After a careful look at the picture, I found the bed

also is located in the middle of the painting, and covers over

half of the canvas. The bed also then another focal point since

it dominates the composition while other areas are subordinate to

it. Rembrandt's focal points work because of the strong contrast

between light and dark and because of placement of the characters

in this story. Thus, through research I learned how Rembrandt

achieves his focal points which my first perception initially


Now without knowing the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife

one could piece together the events taking place by the content

in the painting. There is a large room partly lit. In the

center is a bed with snow white sheets fitted perfectly, as if a

maid had just finished dressing it. To the side of the bed,

seated in an equally large chair, is a most troubled-looking

woman. She is adorned with a lavish, bright-colored gown, and

wears decorative jewelry, with her hair luxuriously woven. She

points with her right hand an accusing finger at a dark maroon

cloak draped on one of the bed posts. Her other hand nurses a

torn lapel of an under garment, suggesting she has been in some

manner violated. She looks, with a creased forehead, at a tall,

dark figure to the her left, whom for the lack of lighting

shimmers in an elegant uniform, his head donning a turban. He

leans on the back of her chair, his hand closed, but his arm

pointing in the same direction as the cloak. His other arm is on

his hip directly above a sheathed sword. His overall stature and

facial expression appears quizzical, as he ponders over the

serious situation. The situation of course concerns the

accusation his wife makes of the owner of the cloak. The lonely

figure in the corner dressed in the drab olive green tunic stands

silently listening to the woman, obviously the accused owner of

this cloak. His maroon red sash with the keys reveals his

importance to the household. Rembrandt clearly brought this

"scene to life convincingly"(Schwartz 15). For him to have

accomplished this feat, he "had to give each figure an

appropriate expression, pose, and costume"(Schwartz 15). All

this Rembrandt has done, leaving us with a tragic moment in

biblical history captured beautifully in this awesome painting of

Joseph accused by Potiphar's wife.

Work Cited

Barker, Kenneth. The Holy Bible, New International Version.

Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House,1995.

Muhlberger, Richard. What Makes A Rembrandt A Rembrandt? New

York: Viking, 1993.

Munz, Ludwig. Rembrandt. New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc, 1984

Schwartz, Gary. First Impressiaons:Rembrandt. New York: Harry N.

Abrams Inc, 1992. 

Other sample model essays:

Humanities / Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was a strong leader for the Romans who changed the course of the history of the Greco - Roman world decisively and irreversibly. With his courage and strength he created a...
Humanities / Julius Ceasar
Julius Caesar, Life of Julius Caesar was a strong leader for the Romans who changed the course of the history of the Greco - Roman world decisively and irreversibly. (3) ...
Daniel Cappadora Monsignor Farrell Ms. Brickey The Catholic Church has many influences on King Arthur and the rest of his Knights of the Round Table. The knights depended on the churc...
Humanities / King James I
This is a paper over King James I of England that I wrote for my honors english class. I received an A on the the assignment. King James I On June 19, 1566 in Theobalds, Hertfordshire, Englan...
High School Essays / King Tut
TOMB OF TUTANKHAMUN The most famous Egyptian pharaoh today is, King Nebkheperuru Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun is also known as King Tut. The name "Tut...
History / KKK
KKK "In world history, those who have helped to build the same culture are not necessarily of one race, and those of the same race have not all participated in one culture. In scientific lang...
Humanities / Kyrgyzstan
The collapse of the Soviet Union created 15 new states. These states over the last 5 years have all struggled with economic, ethnic, political and territorial problems left to them by...
Over the course of the past half-millennium, the 33 countries that now comprise Latin America and the Caribbean have gone through drastic change. Since the discovery of the New World in 1492, each co...
Humanities / Lennie Lenape
he Lenape Indians were the first people to live in what is now called New Jersey. The Lenape Indians lived in parts of Delaware, Pennsylvana, and New Jersey. There were also called the...
American Civil War / Lincoln
Over the past few years we"ve seen the glamorous acquisitions and mergers of some of the world"s largest companies. Looking towards consolidating resources, minimizing risk and greater control over th...
Experience with Dream Essay - Reliable and great customer service. Quality of work - High quality of work.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Dream Essay - Very reliable and great customer service. Encourage other to try their service. Writer 91463 - Provided a well written Annotated Bibliography with great deal of detail per the rubric.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
it is always perfect
Frederick, Maryland, United States
The experience with Dream Essay is stress free. Service is excellent and forms various forms of communication all help with customer service. Dream Essay is customer oriented. Writer 17663 is absolutely excellent. This writer provides the highest quality of work possible.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Only competent & proven writers
Original writing — no plagiarism
Our papers are never resold or reused, period
Satisfaction guarantee — free unlimited revisions
Client-friendly money back guarantee
Total confidentiality & privacy
Guaranteed deadlines
Live Chat & 24/7 customer support
All academic and professional subjects
All difficulty levels
12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins
The fastest turnaround in the industry
Fully documented research — free bibliography guaranteed
Fax (additional info): 866-332-0244
Fax (additional info): 866-308-7123
Live Chat Support
Need order related assistance?—Click here to submit a inquiry
© Dreamessays.com. All Rights Reserved.
Dreamessays.com is the property of MEDIATECH LTD