Joseph's Dream, 1938
Framed (ref: 10888)
Oil on canvas
Provenance: Cambridge County Council;Chefiins Auction House; Private Collection
Biblical illustration, particularly of subjects from Genesis, is a fairly common theme in Dunbar's work. Here Joseph, the favourite son of his father Jacob, is experiencing two dreams. On the left, sheaves of wheat representing his parents and his 11 older brothers, are about to bow down before him. On the right, the sun and moon and 11 stars symbolise the same obeisance. He became deeply unpopular within his family, but eventually the dreams turned out to be well founded. The finished Joseph's Dream became the first in Dunbar's Joseph trilogy, the others being Joseph in the Pit and Joseph in Prison.
We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes, author of Evelyn Dunbar: A Life in Painting, Romarin, 2016