(b. 1397, Firenze, d. 1475, Firenze)

Flood and Waters Subsiding

Fresco, 215 x 510 cm
Green Cloister, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

After 1446 Uccello painted some further scenes in the Green Cloister in Santa Maria Novella in Florence: stories from the life of Noah, including the Flood and the Waters Subsiding, Noah's Sacrifice and his Drunkenness. Ever since Vasari all critics have always praised the complicated perspective composition of these scenes. Especially the fresco showing the Flood where he masterfully portrayed "the dead bodies, the storm, the fury of the winds, the bolts of lightning, trees breaking, and the fear of men" (Vasari). The exceptional foreshortening of the ark in this scene, although modelled on a relief by Donatello, shows clearly with what originality Paolo Uccello was capable of interpreting Alberti's perspective rules.