While I was viewing the Art sight called Artsepian, I came across a beautiful painting. It so hypnotized me that I decided to share that painting with their theme. It is “Scene Of Deluge “
About The Artist: Mr. Court,
The Artist, Joseph-Désiré Court belonged to a family of artists and so he grew up as a trained portraitist.
He was a brilliant artist, but he was not very rich, and could not afford the time and money to invest in a large project. That is why Mr. Court decided to focus on smaller paintings that he could sell easily for livelihood..
Destiny favored him and soon he had enough money to pursue higher studies in art.
While he was studying in Rome, he won a few accolades for his brilliant work. In 1821 Court received the Prix de Rome scholarship through which he could stay study and live in Rome for three years.
He also earned the highest French order of Merit, that is, the title of Legion of Honor in 1838.
By 1828 he returned to France and became a corresponding member of the Académie de Rouen. In 1853, Court became the director of the Musée des Beaux-arts and held the position till his death.
“Scene of Deluge” is one of Court’s lesser-known works that has recently been heavily appreciated on social media.
Scene of Deluge (1826)
The Myth of Deluge is a common theme in several religious scriptures. According to the myth, a great flood is initiated by a God of Destruction.
The flood annihilates all of humanity as punishment for our sins. The water is also a metaphor for the purification of the world and a sign of rebirth. In all of these myths, there is a “savior” who represents strength and other godly virtues.
In Christian mythology, the flood is known as “The Great Deluge”.
In this myth, God floods the entire world, except for the chosen savior by name of “Noah”. Noah is instructed to build an ark so that he can save as many species as he can, allowing the world to be reborn.
Composition – Scene Of Deluge Painting
In the painting, We see a young man kneeling at the edge of a cliff trying to save an elderly man who is drowning. On the right side is a woman holding on to a branch jutting out of the cliff. She holds her child above the water with her other hand.
The four subjects represent a family. The drowning old man is the young man’s father. The woman is his wife, and the baby is their child. Court beautifully flaunts his skill in anatomical accuracy through a sharp contrast between light and shadow.
While the body of the young man is on full display, it is the baby that catches my eye. The strain in the baby’s arm being held up by his mother and his body dangling helplessly at an odd curvature highly dramatizes the scene. The background is completely obscured which allows the subjects to pop out of the scene.
One would then notice the woman’s face. While only a third of her face is visible, all her emotions are clear and strong. Lastly, we see the old man can barely keep his head above the water as he reaches out for his son’s hand.
Meaning And Analysis
Most paintings depict the life of Noah when it comes to illustrating the Great Flood. Whereas, Court shows us the life of other people who have been affected by the flood. We see a family in distress, while three members are drowning, it’s up to a young man to save them.
All three who are drowning look directly toward the man who could save them with an open mouth probably asking for help, their eyes filled with fear and very little hope.
It is clear that the man finally decides to save his father while his child and wife are about to drown on the other side. One may also notice that the wife and the son are easily within reach. Yet he chooses to save the old man, who seems to slip out of his grip.
The father may be considered a symbol of the past while the wife is his present and the son his future. A young man clings to his past while ignoring what he has now and the opportunities that his future could bring.
Because of his choice, he not only loses his child and wife but also his father who is just out of reach.
Thus losing his present life and future. A perfect metaphor for what happens to many people on a daily basis.
(Pic source: Google.com)
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