Sunday, 7 March 2010


“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” - Roger Miller

The full effect of yesterday’s storm has become apparent around our City. Many millions of dollars of damage, many homes, cars and other property destroyed and a massive clean-up operation that started today. We had more heavy rain this evening and we kept thinking of the poor people who had lost home and possessions in the fury of the storm. Many others were knee in mud and water, trying to clean and dry up the flood damage.

Here is an apt painting for today, “Noah's Family Assembling Animals before the Ark” by Jan van Kessel II (Flemish, 1626-1679).  It is after a painting by Jan Brueghel the Younger (Flemish, 1601-1678), painted about 1660 in the Baroque period. The animals gathered by Noah's family to take on the ark in the distance reflect both the amazing variety of nature and man's dominion over nature. The majority were considered exotic by 17th-century Europeans: For example, parrots, the rare purple gallinule, and turkeys from the New World, African ostriches and porcupines with their incredibly long quills raised in defense, as well as lions and leopards. The painting could be enjoyed like a visit to the menagerie or zoo.

This is a descendant of a painting from 1613 by Jan Brueghel the Elder (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), the composition was also painted by Jan Brueghel the Younger. Here, the groupings of animals are distinct, encouraging viewers to study them separately. This is characteristic of animal paintings by Jan van Kessel, nephew of Jan Brueghel the Younger.


  1. I am sorry to hear of the flooding and damage your area is experiencing. Our tv news brought video of some of it. Water is such a powerful force of nature, both when we have not enough and when there is too much at once. I hope you stay safe.

  2. I love this painting Nic!
    I hope that the damage is quickly repaired in your city. At least there were no deaths, were there?

  3. That is a magnificent painting, such an imaginative artist! I believe it made my heart sing.

    I've heard of the storm, had no idea how severe it was. I have a blogging friend that lives in Noosa, Queensland, Australia...but she is visiting in Hawaii and wonders what she will find after returning..