Joseph Sold by His Brothers
Cordula Grewe notes the influence of Raphael on Overbeck’s Joseph Sold by His Brothers :
“As so often in Nazarene art, Raphael was a key inspiration. His so-called ‘Bible,’ a series of epic miniatures executed by students in the Vatican loggia between 1513 and 1519, was the principal source for Overbeck. His composition The Sale of Joseph adapts the basic structure of the loggia scene, although in laterally reversed form, and many of its details. Yet when it came to the young Joseph, Overbeck suddenly turned to a different part of the Vatican cycle, Christ’s Baptism, modeling his figure of Joseph after Raphael’s depiction of Jesus as he is baptized by St John….Overbeck thus made Joseph the visual mirror image of his biblical antitype. The transformation is subtle and effective: where Christ bows in a lordly manner to receive the baptismal water, the same posed becomes a hunched posture in Joseph’s case, expressing the sorrow of a boy sold into slavery. Similarly, Christ’s gently parted stance turns into the hesitant step toward an unknown future, as the gesture of prayer is transformed into a motion of sad farewell. Despite these subtle variations, Overbeck is able to preserve the basic pattern of his model. Via art historical quotation, the Lucasbruder [Nazarene] thus infused his Sale of Joseph with a strong and long-established typology, which remains, however, hidden to the untutored.”
Cordula Grewe, Painting the Sacred in the Age of Romanticism (Burlington, VT and Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 53-4.
Mitchell B. Frank, "The Nazarene Gemeinshaft: Overbeck and Cornelius" in Laura Morowitz and William Vaughan, eds., Artistic Brotherhoods in the Nineteenth Century (London: Ashgate, 2000), 59-61.