Oil on canvas
236 x 234 cm
The portrayal of this episode of the Flood, showing the inside of the Ark rather than its construction or roaming through a tragic landscape – as preferred by the painters who came before Chagall – is an iconographic first in the 20th century.
The flood waters seem to have invaded the canvas, and the Ark – in a hazy atmosphere – becomes the matrix in which humanity’s second birth comes about.
The circular composition, brought about by patches of pale colours around the central window, gives a rare impression of depth in Chagall’s work.