Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1667 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving in ink on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case 93, shelf E, box 111

Like his contemporary, Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden was internationally recognised within his lifetime and beyond. Giorgio Vasari, writing in 1568, praised Leyden's fine engraving style and his use of perspective. Fine quality early impressions of his prints are rare. Copper printing plates are capable of producing only one or two hundred fine impressions before the plate starts to wear down, especially with a fine line engraving style as Leyden's. Such was Leyden's reputation and his prints so sought by collectors that his original printing plates were kept and impressions taken from them long after his death, resulting in a larger number of surviving poor and worn impressions than fine ones. Numerous copies were also made from his originals, which satisfied demand when originals were not available or affordable and for collectors of images interested more in subject matter.

Physical description

Engraving showing the interior of a bedroom with four-poster bed and hangings to the right, a chair at the back and to the left a table with tablecloth. Potiphar's wife is sitting on the bed and trying to pull Joseph towards her. He is resisting. In a doorway, back left, are two servant girls watching. Joseph's hat is on the floor, along with some slippers, a pitcher and cup. This is a copy in reverse.

Place of Origin

Netherlands (probably, made)


1667 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Engraving in ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

L 1512
Artist initial and date inscribed above door in image, in reverse.

G. Valck. excu. / Ao. 1667.
Inscribed on plate?, lower right corner of image.

no. 13
Inscribed on plate, lower left of image.


Height: 12.4 cm plate size, Width: 16.3 cm plate size, approx, cut, Height: 12.5 cm trimmed, Width: 16.5 cm trimmed, Height: 33 cm mounted sideways on into volume, page size (when horizontal), Width: 52 cm mounted sideways on into volume, page size (when horizontal)

Descriptive line

Engraving of Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, from a series of five prints entitled The Story of Joseph, copy after Lucas Hugensz van Leyden (called Lucas Jacobsz) in reverse; possibly 1667.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bartsch, Adam von. Le Peintre Graveur. Leipzig, J.A. Barth, 1854-1876.
The New Hollstein: Dutch & Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts, 1450-1700. Roosendaal. Koninklijke Van Poll in cooperation with the Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1993-
Cornelis, Bart and Jan Piet Filedt Kok. The taste for Lucas van Leyden prints. In: Simiolus - Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art. 26: 1/2 (1998).


Printing ink



Subjects depicted

Servants; Table; Stockings; Tablecloth; Door; Pitcher; Slippers; Headcloths (bed hangings); Hat; Interior; Beds (furniture); Tunic; Women; Cup; Cloak


Christianity; Prints; Images Online; Illustration

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.