Five Artists Whose Art You Encounter in Noah
Gustave Doré (1832—1883)Prominent French illustrator and printmaker, whose work includes a series of illustrations for the Bible.
Darren Aronofsky admitted in an interview that in one of the most impressive scenes of his film he reproduced Doré's work entitled The Flood: it depicts sinners desperately clinging to life and the only rock not yet swallowed by water.
Doré became famous for the intricate play of light and shadow in his prints. It looks like Noah’s cinematographer Matthew Libatique and the effects creators have also taken advantage of his legacy, pumping up film drama with fifty shades of grey.
Francis Danby (1793—1861)Irish romantic artist,
The authors of the film did not personally admit that they borrowed the mise-en-scène from this artist either, however, viewers with a powerful art background agree that Darren Aronofsky, like any talented person, willingly borrows from everywhere, bringing together Gustave Doré, Francis Danby and his own fantasies about the famous biblical story in one shot. And these fantasies, by the way, are very long-lasting. The story of Noah captured the mind and imagination of Aronofsky, when he was 13, and his literature teacher set him a task to compose some kind of life poem; for some reason, he rhymed the plot about the Flood. It seems that since then the director often looked at the albums with the works by Danby and Doré.
Anselm Kiefer (born 1945)One of the most famous contemporary artists in Germany, where he was born, and France, where he has lived and worked for a long time. The main theme in his work is the nature of Nazism in particular and the destructive influence of the past on the present from a close-up view point.
The past threatening the present is precisely the plot of the Flood. And Kiefer even has canvases that comprehend this plot. But the production designer of the Noah film Mark Friedberg was interested not specifically in them, but rather in the synthetic, "garbage" technique of Kiefer, who applied soil and ash, lead and grass, salt and acid to the canvas in addition to oil.
So that the new, clean ark did not look like an IKEA product, it was smeared with resin, and then sprinkled with grass, straw, volcanic ash. The ashes were brought from Iceland, where they filmed some nature, and the ark was erected in the vicinity of New York (during the process, Hurricane Sandy hit the city and the built ark, and it became completely gloomy and significant).
Here is Russell Crowe’s Noah building an Anselm Kiefer-style ark:
While developing the concept for Noah, production designer Mark Friedberg talked to Anselm Kiefer and wondered how Kiefer’s description of the essence of his own work coincided with that of Darren Aronofsky’s film. Kiefer said that all of his work is "about despair, beauty and cruelty".
Brothers Mike and Doug Stern (born 1961)
Compare the modern sculpture of the Sterns and Noah’s "craftwork" in the film:
“What’s in a frame? That which we call a picture
In an improper frame will look less nice.”
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At that, they tried to achieve authentic sizes, which is why they had to take a closer look at the work of the giant sculptors Sterns. Aronofsky converted the Biblical cubits into meters and found that the ark should be 18 meters high (a six-storey building) and 150 meters long. Only a third of the whole length was built, and the remaining 100 meters were completed through computer graphics.
It should be noted that the filmmakers ignored the creativity of the artists who depicted the ark sharp-nosed. Their movie ark — they consider it the most correct in the world — is more like a floating rectangular warehouse. They say it didn’t need a keel, because Noah was not going to steer the ship or sail anywhere. He just needed some time to stay afloat, until the water dries out. Plus obviously, it was not Noah who was the captain on the ark, but the One who initiated the flood.