Please note the changed opening hours of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since 16 April 2024. More


A colourful coat for Joseph
Biblical Stories on Egyptian warp knitted fabrics

23.05.2008 to 31.03.2009


The story of Joseph the patriarch and his brothers from the Book of Genesis (37-50) fascinates us still to this day. Ever since late Antiquity the story has repeatedly given rise to depictions in art and even continues to inspire painters, authors and musicians well into the present day.

The Museum of Byzantine Art has preserved a large fragment of a tunic and several warp knitted fabrics, on which the tale of Joseph can be seen, either in series or in individual scenes. We have been able to make sense of these fragments with the help of other depictions of the same subject, some on ivory reliefs from the collection of the National Museums in Berlin. For ease of comparison these artefacts have been placed alongside the warp knitted fabrics. In addition to this the temporary exhibition in the textile area in room 113 of the Museum of Byzantine Art in the Bode-Museum has placed on display selected textiles with other Biblical imagery taken from their own collection.

There is also a catalogue available to mark the exhibition (approx. 64 pages with colour pictures).