Yale Center for British Art, “Before the Deluge” Exhibition, through March 24, 2019

January 27, 2019

The Yale Center for British Art is holding an exhibition, entitled Before the Deluge: Apocalyptic Floodscapes from John Martin to John Goto, 1789 to Now. The exhibition opened on December 18, 2018 and will close March 24, 2019.

Before the Deluge explores how the idea of the Deluge has been represented and interpreted by British artists and writers from the end of the eighteenth century to the present day. It considers the diverse ways they have responded to accounts of floods—biblical, mythological, fictional, and real—and the political ends to which this theme has been used in their respective historical contexts.

Drawing on the Center’s collections of prints and drawings, photographs, and rare books and manuscripts, Before the Deluge examines the connections between our own sense of antediluvianism and that of earlier times, charting the artistic representation of apocalyptic floods, and the scientific and political debates about the Deluge to which these writers and artists contributed. Before the Deluge also considers how proximity to water and its threat inspired human ingenuity through various objects, such as paper peepshows of the Thames tunnel and blueprints for bridges and canals.

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