Mankind before the Flood
Mankind before the Flood by Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem apparently presents a merry crowd giving themselves up to the pleasures of life. If the scene is observed carefully, Noah’s ark is visible in the background. In this way, the painting takes on a moral and religious character. Cornelis is one of the three representatives of the School of Haarlem along with Goltzius and Van Mander. This movement took inspiration from the creations of Michelangelo to develop Italianate art depicting oversized human figures. The Toulouse work is one of the masterpieces of the second, more mature phase of the painter’s career.