Francis Danby, The Deluge

Tate Gallery, London

Date: exhibited 1840
Technique: Oil on canvas, 2845 x 4521 mm

Danby made his name with epic subjects, often on a large scale. This was his last. The subject is from the Old Testament book of Genesis. God sends a flood to punish mankind’s wickedness but allows Noah and his family to be saved. Noah’s ark is in the background, illuminated by a shaft of moonlight. A stormy sea rages round a rocky peak and massive tree branches, to which humans and animals are clinging desperately. A blood-red sun can be seen setting to the left. In the lower right hand corner, an angel weeps over the death of a child.


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