Ford Madox Brown The Coat of Many Colours 1867

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Artwork details

Artist
Ford Madox Brown 1821–1893
Title
The Coat of Many Colours
Date 1867
Medium Watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions Support: 305 x 305 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Bequeathed by J.R. Holliday 1931
Reference
N04584
Not on display

Display caption

This watercolour illustrates the Old Testament story of Joseph and his coat of many colours. His brothers, jealous of the preference shown towards him by their father, have sold Joseph as a slave. Here we see them duping their father into believing that Joseph has been killed, using the blood-stained coat as evidence.

Unlike other members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, Brown did not travel to the Near East. However, to give authenticity to the biblical subject matter, he used a watercolour painted by Thomas Seddon in Palestine as inspiration for the background landscape.

September 2004