Scene in Egypt (Scene from the Story of Joseph)

WAG 7911


Henry Holiday (1839 – 1927) was a painter as well as an established stained-glass artist who completed commissions for churches both in England and America. In 1855 he was the youngest student of painting at the Royal Academy Schools, and like many young artists was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters. He was encouraged by critic John Ruskin (1819 – 1898). In 1862 Holiday's career as a stained-glass artist was launched when he succeeded the artist Edward Burne-Jones (1833 – 1898) as the designer for the glass manufacturing company Messrs. Powell and Sons. He was also an illustrator, his most important illustrations being the ones he made for Lewis Carroll's book 'The Hunting of the Snark'. In the Old Testament, Joseph was one of Jacob's 12 sons who was given a coloured cloak. His brothers were jealous and sold him into slavey in Egypt - where he eventually became steward to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials. After being imprisoned he was released because of his ability to interpret Pharaoh's dream and he was made governor of Egypt. He would then wisely ration the country's produce in preperation for a time of famine.