Muséa National Biblique

Jacob weeps inconsolably, clutching the bloodstained tunic of his beloved son Joseph, in this painting by the Russian-born artist Marc Chagall. Believing Joseph dead, Jacob laments, “I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning” (Genesis 37:35). Jacob’s sons comfort him and pretend to mourn, knowing that they have sold their brother Joseph into slavery and dipped his coat in the blood of a goat.

An early work, dated 1931, this oil-and-gouache painting titled “Jacob Weeping Over Joseph’s Coat” is infused with Chagall’s special love for the Bible—a separate works of art based on Old and New Testament themes.