Scene from the Great Flood

Scene from the Great Flood or The Great Flood is an 1826 painting of Noah's flood by Joseph-Désiré Court. It was first exhibited at the Paris Salon on 4 November 1827 although - as a laureate of the Prix de Rome - he could not compete for the awards of that Salon. The French state purchased the work for 3000 francs and it is now in the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.

Scene from the Great Flood (1826), by Joseph-Désiré Court


The painting illustrates the biblical flood that wiped out humanity on earth. In the biblical story Noah and his family survive. The painting is seen as an allegory of a man clinging to his past. In the painting the man reaches out to save his father who represents the past, instead of saving his own son who represents the future or his wife who represents the current.[1]


  1. ^ "Joseph Désiré Court, Scene of Deluge, 1827⁠". Narrative Painting. Narrative Painting. Retrieved 14 September 2022.


  • Bibliothèque-documentation du musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, dossier Scène du Déluge de Court.