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Pharaoh's Daughter Receives the Mother of Moses

James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902)

Pharaoh's Daughter Receives the Mother of Moses, c. 1896-1902

  • Gouache on board
  • 8 5/8 x 10 7/16 in. (22.5 x 26.5 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of the heirs of Jacob Schiff, X1952-146

Not on view



Pharaoh's Daughter Receives the Mother of Moses


Pharaoh's Daughter Receives the Mother of Moses


Encourage students to examine this painting carefully:

  • Describe what is happening in this scene.

  • Describe the people you see.

  • Describe the setting of the scene. What type of place do you think this is? What kind of weather is implied? What time of day?

  • How do the gestures of the figures help tell the story?

  • How does the title of this painting—Pharaoh’s Daughter Receives the Mother of Moses—help you understand the scene? Which woman do you think is the pharaoh’s daughter? Why? Which one is Moses’ mother?

  • What kinds of lines do you see in the painting? Consider both painted lines and implied lines created by the arrangement of figures within the space. How does the artist use these lines to lead your eye around the picture?

  • What do you think could happen next in the story?


After giving students an opportunity to examine this painting, lead them in a discussion of related topics and themes:

  • Compare the story depicted in Tissot’s painting with the story as told in the Book of Exodus. What differences are there between the verbal account and Tissot’s image of the scene? What kinds of choices did the artist make?

  • How would you depict this story? What part of the story would you want to show and why?


  • Bible Studies
  • Watercolor
  • Jewish History
  • Illustration