The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark

Object Details

Title:

The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark

Artist/Maker:

Jan Brueghel the Elder (Flemish, 1568 - 1625)

Culture:

Flemish

Date:

1613

Medium:

Oil on panel

Dimensions:

54.6 × 83.8 cm (21 1/2 × 33 in.)

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A profusion of animals fills the earth and sky. Fighting, playing, climbing, flying, and swimming, they are shepherded by Noah toward the ark in the far distance. All species of animals are portrayed, from large lumbering elephants to tiny turtles and hamsters in the foreground. Bats and birds soar across the sky, receding into the background where brighter skies hold promise of a future.

The story of Noah's ark provided a subject well suited to Jan Brueghel the Elder's descriptive abilities. Overcome by the wickedness of the human race, God resolved to cleanse the earth with a great flood. He spared only the lives of the family of Noah, the sole just man. God instructed Noah to build an ark and to take on board a male and a female of every species of bird and beast.

In 1609 Brueghel was appointed court painter to Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella, who had collected exotic and unusual animals from across the world, creating a menagerie in Brussels. Brueghel studied and drew many of these animals from life. With the discovery of the New World in the 1600s came an increased curiosity about natural history. This interest led many European rulers, who had in the past collected stuffed animals, shells, and other natural objects, to form menageries of rare live animals.

Provenance
by 1786

Jan-Egidius Peeters d'Aertselaar de Cleydael, died 1786, by inheritance to Henri Joseph

by 1793 - 1822

Henri Joseph d'Aertselaar, Baron Stier (Antwerp, Belgium) [sold, Stier d'Artselaer sale, Bincken, Antwerp, July 29, 1822, lot 27, to Lambert Jan Nieuwenhuys.]
Source: No. 23 on packing list of paintings shipped by Stier to America, 1794; seen in Stier's Riverdale mansion in 1812; returned to Antwerp in 1816.

1822 -

Lambert Jan van Nieuwenhuys

about 1920

Private Collection (Vienna, Austria)

- 1977

Private Collection (Switzerland)

1977 - 1992

Robert H. Smith (New York, New York; Washington, DC), sold through John & Paul Herring & Company, Inc. (New York, New York) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992.

Exhibitions
Jan Brueghel the Elder, A Loan Exhibition (June 21 to July 20, 1979) (Cat. 29)
  • Brod Gallery (London)
Art and Science: Joris Hoefnagel and the Representation of Nature in the Renaissance (October 12, 1999 to January 16, 2000) (No cat. no.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 12, 1999 to January 16, 2000
Rubens and Brueghel: A Working Friendship / Rubens en Brueghel: Een artistieke vriendschap (July 5, 2006 to January 28, 2007) (Cat. 26)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 5 to September 24, 2006
  • Mauritshuis (The Hague), October 21, 2006 to January 28, 2007
Bibliography

Brown, Christopher. "Jan Brueghel the Elder." Connoisseur 201 (July 1979) pp. 174-75, ill.

Ertz, Klaus. Jan Brueghel der Ältere 1568-1625: Die Gemälde mit kritischem Oeuvrekatalog (Cologne: DuMont Buchverlag, 1979) pp. 75, 82, 236-40, 244-47, 603, no. 273, figs. 48, 60-62, 307-10.

Jan Brueghel the Elder: A Loan Exhibition of Paintings, exh. cat. (London: Brod Gallery, 1979) pp. 19, 34, 96-97, no. 29, ill.

Gehrun, Georg von. "Jan Brueghel D.A." Die Wettkunst 49, no. 13 (July 1979) p. 1761, ill.

Bruegel: Une dynastie de peintres, exh. cat. (Brussels: Palais de Beaux-Arts, with Europalia, 1980) pp. 174-75, ill.

Ertz, Klaus. Jan Brueghel der Ältere 1568-1625 (Cologne: DuMont Buchverlag, 1981) pp. 110-13, no. 29-30, ill.

"Acquisitions/1992." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 21 (1993) p. 119, no. 24, ill.

Broos, Ben. Intimacies and Intrigues. History Painting in the Mauritshuis (The Hague: Martial & Snoeck, 1993) pp. 91, 94.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995) unpaginated, no. 18, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 18, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. et al. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Paintings (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) pp. 46-47, no. 23, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

Walsh, John, and Deborah Gribbon. The J. Paul Getty Museum and Its Collections: A Museum for the New Century (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) pp. 108, 119, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001) p. 112, ill.

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003) pp. 44-45, no. 22, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Flemish Paintings of the Seventeenth Century: the collections of the National Gallery of Art systematic catalogue (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2005) pp. 171, 173n37, 173n38, fig. 5.

Silver, Larry. Peasant Scenes and Landscapes: The Rise of Pictorial Genres in the Antwerp Art Market (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006) pp. 213, 215, 306n30, fig. 10.5.

Woollett, Anne T., and Ariane van Suchtelen, eds. Rubens and Brueghel: A Working Friendship, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Waanders, 2006) pp. 70, 80, 87, 125, 192-201, no. 26, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007) p. 108, ill.

Smith, Paul J. "Sympathy in Eden. On 'Paradise with the Fall of Man' by Rubens and Brueghel." In Spirits Unseen: The Representation of Subtle Bodies in Early Modern European Culture. C. Gottler and W. Neuber, eds. (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008) pp. 217, 221, 231, 233.

Doherty, Tiarna, and Anne T. Woollett. Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009) pp. 8-9, ill.

Voldère, Florence de, et al. L'Odyssée du Paradis dans la peinture flamande, XVe-XVIIe siècle: L'émergence du paysage profane (Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2012) pp. 180-81, 182-83, 204, 222, figs. 160, 161 (detail), 176 (detail), 194 (detail).

Woollett, Anne T. "Jan Brueghel d. Ä. und die Kunst der Zusammenarbeit." In Brueghel: Gemälde von Jan Brueghel D.Ä., exh. cat. Mirjam Neumeister, ed. (Munich: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, with Hirmer, 2013) p. 57, fig. 47.

Silver, Larry. "World of Wonders: Exotic Animals in European Imagery, 1515-1650." In Animals and Early Modern Identity. Pia F. Cuneo, ed. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014) pp. 307-10, fig. 13.13.

Wandschneider, Andrea, ed. The Brueghel Family, exh. cat. (Dortmund: Verlag Kettler, 2015) p. 269, under cat. no. 72.

Yamamoto, Dorothy. Guinea Pig (London: Reaktion Books LTD, 2015) pp. 50-51, ill.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Finding the Animals: A Visual Exploration of Art

Students discuss Jan Brueghel's painting <I>The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark</I> and write about and draw their favorite animal.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

K-2

Single Class Lesson

Puzzle Mystery

Solve a mystery using clues made of small details of a painting, writing titles, and finishing a class puzzle.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

3-5

Two-Part Lesson