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William Bell Scott was the son of a Scottish engraver. He came to London in the 1830s where he practised as an engraver and also exhibited pictures. He had close contact with the Pre-Raphaelites and their circle, chiefly through his friendship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In this picture he contrasts the debauched eastern prince and his court with Noah and his family who, only too aware of the significance of the ominous cloud in the sky, are entering the Ark.

August 2004