The eve of the deluge

The eve of the deluge

Fig. 14.3 . People believed for centuries that the unexpected appearance of comets was a premonition of war, death and other disasters. Here the arrival of a comet foretells the great flood at the time of Noah. The 1835-36 apparition of comet Halley may have influenced the artist, John Martin (1784-1854), for he finished this painting a few years later in 1840. (Collection of Her Majesty the Queen.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University