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The Animals Foregathering to Enter the Ark

Photo credit: National Trust Images

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Noah, his wife and a daughter-in-law rest with their donkeys whilst a vast array of pairs of all species of wild animals and exotic birds gather on the bank of a river. The ark, which they are about to enter, can just be seen in the distance. A church (an anachronistic element) is also visible, referring to many years later in the future when the descendants of Noah have established Christianity.

In 1609 Jan Brueghel the elder was appointed court painter to Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella in Brussels. They collected a menagerie of living animals from across the world from which the artist was able to make studies. This small, detailed composition is an example of a popular and much repeated copy of an original painting from the seventeenth century.

National Trust, Arlington Court and National Trust Carriage Museum

near Barnstaple


The Animals Foregathering to Enter the Ark


oil on copper


H 37.4 x W 50.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Miss Rosalie Chichester, 1949

Work type



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Normally on display at

National Trust, Arlington Court and National Trust Carriage Museum

Arlington, near Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4LP England

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