The Rev. T.J. Judkin; passed to his wife (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 13 January 1872, No. 35, as The Animals going into the ark-circle), bought by (White). William Houldsworth, Mount Charles, Ayr, Scotland, by 1878 (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 23 May 1891, no. 59, as The Deluge, bought in), (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 16 May 1896, no. 54), bought by (Messrs. Shepherd Brothers), London. (Charles Sedelmeyer, Sedelmeyer Gallery), Paris, 1896. (Maurice Kann), who sold it 1900 to (Thos. Agnew & Sons), London, from whom it was purchased 1901 by H. Darell Brown, London;(sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London 23 May 1924, no. 41, as The Eve of the Deluge); bought by (Carroll Galleries). (Howard Young Galleries, New York), by 1926. William R. Timken [1866-1949], New York; by inheritance to his widow, Lillian Guyer Timken [1881-1959], New York; bequest 1960 to NGA.
- Fine Art Loan Exhibition, Corporation Art Galleries, Glasgow, 1878, no. 13.
- Third Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters, Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris, 1896, no. 98.
- Seventh Annual Exhibition on Behalf of the Artists' General Benevolent Institution, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., 1901, no. 17.
- English Eighteenth Century Pictures, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., 1919, no. 7.
- Second Loan Exhibition of Old Masters: British Paintings of the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries, Detroit Institute of arts, 1926, no. 48.
- A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture Lent from American Collections, Art Institute of Chicago, 1933, no. 206.
- A Survey of British Paintings, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1938, no. 56.
- Pintura Británica De Hogarth a Turner, organized by the British Council, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1988-1989, no. 48, repro.
- J.M.W. Turner and the Romantic Vision of the Holy Land and the Bible, Charles S. and Isabella V. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 1996, no. 7, pl. 11.
- Joseph Mallord William Turner, Kunstforum Wien, Vienna, 1997, no. 100, repro.
- J.M. William Turner - Licht und Farbe, Museum Folkwang Essen; Kunsthaus Zürich, 2001-2002, no. 199, repro.
- Turner: The Late Seascapes, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown; Manchester Art Gallery; The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, 2003-2004, unnumbered catalogue, fig. 67, repro.
- Fierce Friends: Artists and Animals, 1750-1900, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2005-2006, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
- J.M.W. Turner, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007-2008, no. 153, repro.
- Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science, and the Visual Arts, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 2009, no. 57, fig. 60.
- Turner -- Painter of Elements, Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg; Muzeum Narodowe, Krakow; Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2011-2012, no. 93, repro.
- Armstrong, Sir Walter. Turner. London and New York, 1902: 220, repro. opp. 180.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 133
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 119, repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 356, repro.
- Butlin, Martin, and Evelyn Joll. The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner. 2 vols. New Haven and London, 1977 (2d rev. ed., 1984): 1:no. 443; 2:color pl. 405.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 406, repro.
- Pintura Británica De Hogarth a Turner. Exh. cat. Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1988-1989, no. 48, 214-215, repro.
- Finley, Gerald. "Pigment into Light: Turner, and Goethe's Theory of Colours." European Romantic Review 2, no. 1 (Summer 1991):39-60.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 284-288, repro. 287.
The support is composed of two canvases, both of medium weight and plain woven; it has been lined. There are shallow diagonal grooves cutting across each corner at approximately 14.5 cm. from the edge; these were scored either in the ground or in the paint layers before the painting was finished. Although, as confirmed by x-radiographs, the original canvas has always remained square in format, it is clear that Turner did consider an octagonal shape for the design; but it is difficult to know now if the roughly painted corners were meant to be seen or to be covered. The ground is white, probably calcium carbonate, and thickly applied. The painting is executed in thick paint, applied with both brush and palette knife, which is covered with thick and thin glaze washes, often blended wet into wet, probably with some use of watercolor, creating the details of the design. The uppermost paint layers filling the corners outside the grooves are sketchily applied. Some of the impasto has been flattened during lining. There is one large, old, retouched loss above the tent; otherwise there are only a few scattered losses and little abrasion. The thick natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a significant degree.