Noah’s Sacrifice and Noah’s Drunkenness by Paolo Uccello

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Noah's Sacrifice and Noah's Drunkenness by Paolo Uccello

Painting NameNoah's Sacrifice and Noah's Drunkenness
Painter NamePaolo Uccello
Completion Date1448
Size540 x 277 cm (17' 8.6" x 9' 1.06")
Current LocationPublic collection

No matter how tragic Noah’s story, it is world-shattering enough for biblical painter Paolo Uccelo to have left the legend on a 17 by 9 feet fresco – which actually took Uccelo 4 years to paint in mid-15th century Italy.

Noah, or the father of modern humans, is an age-old character, in Christian, Jew as well as Muslim history. According to many historians, the events surrounding Noah’s life, the flood and everything about his drunkenness took place around the 12000-10000 BC period. During this phase, many parts, including India, Antarctic Africa and South America were forced to change their coastlines owing to massive and life-taking floods over centuries. However, Noah could have also lived during the next great flood, which primarily affected northern Africa, ancient Rome and other nearby regions during the 4000-2000 BC period.

Noah is believed to have lived for nearly 1000 years, and as Genesis has it, that he had three sons when he was about 500. They were all taken up with changing the world for the better, and also quite fed up with the way humans sinned. However, I am not sure what exactly was wrong – as per the genesis, humans sinned for a long time, and then the flood had to come as punishment from God – from which, Noah having lived righteously, had the right to save himself and the good remnants of mankind (that is part of the reason why Noah built the boat). However, this also meant that he would have to make God happy in gratification.

I am not sure how the rest of it followed, but Noah apparently received permission from God to go about getting rid of sinners. Noah also saw this as an opportunity to make God happy with the smell of sacrifice, which I presume is decaying human bodies. At this juncture, I feel like stopping to think what he might have gone through, especially by living in this cruel and cut-throat atmosphere of living beings for 500 years already.

Just after that, he grew a vineyard, got himself drunk, and slept naked when his son saw him and got alarmed. It became public, as is evident from the painting on the left. And Noah saw his role as the noble man of God go down the drain soon after.


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