Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, by Valerio Castello (1624-1659).

Oil on canvas, 131cm by 94.5cm.

The painting depicts the attempted seduction of Joseph by the wife of the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard.

It was purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) in 1684 and was part of a group of paintings listed as being held by English Customs in that year.

It appears in the 1688 Burghley Inventory which records:… ‘The Plaster Dineing Roome & Clossett…1 peice of Joseph & potifers wife} by __.’

Valerio Castello was born in Genoa where, despite his short life, his artistic output was prolific.

He drew inspiration from many sources, and greatly admired the work of Anthony van Dyck, who was in Genoa for an extended period.

He painted on both canvas and fresco and excelled at battle scenes.


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