The Art of the Sublime

Francis Danby The Deluge exhibited 1840

Francis Danby 'The Deluge' exhibited 1840
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Francis Danby 1793–1861
The Deluge exhibited 1840
Oil paint on canvas
support: 2845 x 4521 mm; frame: 3037 x 4740 x 110 mm;
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1971
Tate T01337
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.

How to cite

Francis Danby, The Deluge exhibited 1840, in Nigel Llewellyn and Christine Riding (eds.), The Art of the Sublime, January 2013,, accessed 27 April 2015.