Musée National Message Biblique

Troubled purple and blue skies seem to portend disaster for young Joseph, the goatherd, in this 1931 painting by Marc Chagall.

The Bible records that 17-year-old Joseph “…kept the flocks with his brothers… the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, wives of his father.” Jealous of their father Jacob’s love for Joseph, his brothers, left, plot to sell Joseph into slavery.

“Joseph, Goatherd,” is one of 40 “biblical message” gouaches painted by Chagall in the early 1930s. Though one of the gouaches is now in a private collection, 39 are presented to the public periodically at the Musée National Message Biblique in Nice, France.