The painting cycle in this room tells the Old Testament story of Joseph. It is a work by the Frankfurt painter Johann Georg Trautmann, whose pictures also hang in Goethe’s father’s painting cabinet. When the Lieutenant General Thoranc was quartered in the house between 1759 and 1762, he ordered numerous paintings from the Frankfurt artists, including this Joseph cycle. A room in the attic had to be given to the painters so that work could be carried out at least in part under Thoranc’s gaze.
I still remember having written an extensive composition to describe twelve pictures illustrating the story of Joseph, and several of these were then painted.
Goethe: From My Life. Poetry and Truth, part 1, book 3
The following scenes are depicted – in the same order as they are hung, beginning next to the door:
Joseph tells his father and brothers of his dreams
Joseph is sold by his brothers to the Midianites
The brothers show their father Joseph’s bloody coat
Joseph receives his brothers in Egypt
Joseph and Potiphar’s wife
Joseph’s sale of grain in Egypt
Joseph is summoned from jail to the pharaoh.