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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Marco Sadeler (Marcus Christoph)
Flemish, 1614–about 1660

The Flood

Engraving and etching, about 1660
Gift of Mrs. W. H. Snyder, 1917.36

In this densely engraved image, wind tosses ships about at the entrance to a harbor. One ship is being torn apart as it is battered against the rocky coast. The large tree in the foreground is bent over by the force of the wind and another tree has been shattered, its broken trunk jagged. A shaft of lightning strikes a tower in the distant city, while a shepherd drives his flock to higher ground. The clouds appear to be parting in the distance as light pours through, offering a glimpse of hope. Nearer, dark clouds separate admitting diagonal shafts of light that hit the ground.