May 10, 2013

Yusuf and Zulaykha meeting

Yusuf and Zulaykha meeting

c. 1764

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Overall: 40.5 x 28 cm (15 15/16 x 11 in.); Average: 21.5 x 15 cm (8 7/16 x 5 7/8 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., for the Coralie Walker Hanna Memorial Collection 1939.164


Did you know?

Joseph wears a Central Asian fur-trimmed hat and coat and holds Indian paan.


Joseph, called Yusuf in Arabic and Persian sources, had been thrown into a well by his jealous older brothers. Although his eldest brother intended to return and rescue him, Joseph was taken by a caravan and brought to Egypt to be sold as a slave. When Zulaykha saw Joseph in the market, she recognized him as the lover she had seen in her dreams since childhood and so purchased him for herself. When read as a religious allegory, Zulaykha’s passionate desire for Joseph is interpreted as the yearning of the soul to be joined with the perfect beauty of God.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.