Lot 04

Late 17th century
Oil on canvas
99 x 216 cm (h x w)

Starting price
130 000 CZK
   |   5 098 €
afterauction sale

The Bible narrates the story of Noah, who was ordered by God to build an arch so that he, seven other people, and a menagerie of animals may be spared from the flood that was to destroy the corrupted world. The story became the subject of epic and artistic stories in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and of theological interpretations (the arch as a symbol of the temple saving humanity). This painting describes the part of the story where Noah is supposed to lead one pair from each species (one male and one female) into the arch, as well as seven from certain species (for later sacrificial use). The painting was originally preceded by a small painting on copper plate by Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625), The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark (now in the Paul Getty Trust in Malibu). A variation on this painting was painted by a contemporary of Jan Brueghel from Antwerp, Frederik Bouttats the Elder (1590–1661), in his painting The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark (copper, 48.8 × 64.8 cm). It is likely that this painting is a simplified enlarged version composed in a landscape format and probably used as a sopraporte. Consulted with PhDr. Hana Seifertová. Restored.