Story of Joseph

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  Art Description

The serigraph was based on a small earlier watermedia painting finished in 1985. I wanted to capture this narrative and used a configuration of three larger panels and six smaller panels. I used the highlights of the story but also added text to help understand it better. The text was drawn with elaborate calligraphy so that it became part of the decorations that surrounds the borders. Among the decorative border elements there are small symbols that connect to the dreams, i.e. the sheaves of wheat, the stars and the sun, the grapes, and the chalice.

A painted look was created in the serigraph by layering both transparent and opaque colored inks.

Artist’s Notes

STORY OF JOSEPH is a journey of maturing—a way to humanize him. His character is in formation, as he is not ready for the blessings given him. Unable to relish the powerful dreams inward, he boasts, angering his brothers.

Joseph’s brothers, jealous of his being their father’s favorite, throw him into an empty well. After being enslaved and imprisoned he interprets the dreams of Pharaoh who vests him with great power. Finally, after many years and sufferings, he has compassion and is able to receive his brothers with forgiveness. His brothers are amazed when he reveals his great power in the Kingdom.


This story moves me in understanding our journey in life. Joseph had so much to learn, but had to suffer so much to mature. And it also speaks to us about forgiveness, especially among families. 


For additional information, please see this page.

 Image Documentation 

An original, hand-printed serigraph published by the artist with collaboration of master printer Christopher Betambeau at Advanced Graphics, London, England.

Completed August 1, 1986.

Edition Size: 200

Dimensions: Image: 26" x 18"
Paper: 30" x 22"

Paper: Welin Arches Blanc, 100% rag, acid-free

Colors: 34 colors printed
Price: $600.00

Copyright © 2020 John August Swanson