Noah’s Ark

Artist: Attributed to Miskin (active late 1570s–ca. 1604)
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Akbar, ca. 1590
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W: 28.1 x 15.6 cm (11 1/16 x 6 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


boat, drum, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), Noah's Ark, Reign of Akbar (1556 - 1605)
Provenance research underway.

Noah, his head surrounded by a flaming halo, sits at the center of this painting. A popular figure in the Qur'an, Noah (in Arabic, Nuh) also figures in poetic texts such as the Diwan (Collected Poems) by Hafiz. 

Miskin, one of the greatest painters in the workshop of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) is thought to have painted this page. An expert draftsman and colorist, Miskin was best known for his skilled and whimsical depictions of animals and birds.

Published References
  • Barbara Schmitz. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. vol. 28, no. 1, Spring 1982. fig. 4.
  • Lincoln Paine. The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World. New York. .
  • Masters of Indian Painting. Exh. cat. Zurich. vol. 1: pp. 167-186, fig. 11.
  • Shanti Swarup. Flora and Fauna in Mughal Art. Bombay. fig. 33.
  • Howard Hollis and Company, The Cleveland Museum of Art. Islamic Art: Selected Examples from the Loan Exhibiton of Islamic Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Exh. cat. Cleveland. p. 24.
  • Hossam Elkhadem, Ahmed Medhoune, Nathalie Levy. A la Découverte de l'Âge d'Or des Sciences Arabes: Catalogue de l'Exposition Itinérante. Exh. cat. Brussels. p. 42.
  • Mario Bussagli. Indian Miniatures. London and New York. p. 47, pl. 18.
  • Anand Amaladass, Gudrun Loewner. Christian Themes in Indian Art. India. p. 48.
  • Stuart Cary Welch. MIniatures from a Manuscript of the Diwan-i-Hafiz. vol. 11, no. 3 Bombay, June 1958. p. 57, fig. 2.
  • Katharine Gibson. More Pictures to Grow Up With. New York and London. p. 59.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 13, pp. 60,121,123-4, fig. 4.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 17, p. 98.
  • Emilie Savage-Smith. Magic and Divination in Early Islam. The Formation of the Classical Islamic World, vol. 42 Aldershot, Hunts, England and Burlington, Vermont. p. 367.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.