Rembrandt
The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife is told in the first book of the Bible,

Genesis, chapter 39. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and bought by

Potiphar, a high ranking official in the Pharaoh's service. "The Lord was
with Joseph," and gave him success in everything he did. This pleased

Potiphar and before long Joseph was given the highest position in the household,
and left in charge when Potiphar was away. Now Potiphar's wife found Joseph to
be very good looking and had approached him several times saying "come to
bed with me;" and Joseph being a man of God would not sin against his
master or the Lord, so he refused her. One day when all the servants were gone,

Joseph entered the house and Potiphar's wife approached him and while holding on
to his cloak said "come to bed with me". Joseph refused and left the
house leaving his cloak behind. Potiphar' Wife screamed for help saying that

Joseph had attacked and tried to sleep with her. When her husband came home she
told him the same false story. Potiphar was so angry at Joseph he had him locked
up in Pharaoh's prison. "But while Joseph was in the prison, the Lord was
with him." This is the subject matter for which Rembrandt choose to do his
representational painting by. The content of the painting all reveals

Rembrandt's interpretation of the story This is the account from the Bible of
the accusation of Joseph by Potiphar's Wife. Rembrandt Van Ryn chose this
particular story as the subject of his narrative painting completed in 1655,
under the title of "Joseph Accused By Potiphar's Wife". Before
researching this painting, I noted my fist perception of Rembrandt work of art.

I realized through that as a result of my later research, my first perception
did not change, but instead were enriched and enlarged by a newfound
understanding of the man and his art. I largely concentrated on my first and
later perceptions in the design elements and principles of lighting or value,
infinite space, color, and focal point. After conducting research, my first
perceptions about the value, or relative degree of lightness or darkness, in the
painting did not change, but instead I learned that Rembrandt's use of light and
dark was both purposeful and a technique well- known to the artists of his time.

When I first observed this painting, I thought how dark everything seemed. The
only exceptions to the darkness are the bed and Potiphar's wife, both of which
are flooded in light almost as if a spotlight were thrown on her and the bed.

Some light shines on Joseph's face and from behind him like a halo around his
body, but this light is very dim. Potiphar in great contrast to his wife is
almost in complete darkness. I first felt there should be more light from
perhaps candles to cast the entire room in partial light. But after research I
found that "Rembrandt liked strong contrasts of light and dark and used
them in his paintings all his life, letting darkness hide unnecessary details
while using light to bring figures and objects out from the shadows. The high
contrast of light against dark changed an ordinary scene into a dramatic one ...
the Italian word for this use of light and dark [is] chiaroscuro " (Muhlberger

9). Rembrandt must have believed that too much detail in the room would have
obscured the primary players of this scene. He uses light to brightly illuminate
the most important person in this painting, Potiphar's wife. In descending order
of importance, Rembrandt places a glow around Joseph and casts Potiphar in a
almost total darkness. I now am able to see how the contrast of light and dark
demonstrates drastically this crucial turning point in Joseph's life. The fact
that an Italian word exists for Rembrandt's lighting technique only proves the
technique's establishment in the art world he lived and worked in. As a result
of research, my fist perceptions about the presence of infinite space in the
painting did not change, but instead I gained an understanding of why Rembrandt
employed this particular technique in his painting. I first noticed before
conducting any research on Rembrandt or this painting how the walls appear to go
on indefinitely; there are no boundaries to the room. In addition the artist
chose not to add and details to the walls or floor. I believe that the design
element of infinite space, endless space as found in nature, best describes this
technique. Upon conducting my research I