"Scene of Deluge" (1826) by Jospeh Desire Court
"In the biblical book of Genesis God flooded the earth, sparing only Noah and his family who had been instructed to build an ark. All others perished in the great deluge. Instead of illustrating the life of Noah, Court gives us a scene from the other side of the story. " (https://narrativepainting.net/joseph-desire-court-scene-of-deluge-1826/)
In the painting The Man has chosen to focus on and save his drowning father who has already drifted beyond his reach. at the expense of saving his own Son and Wife, who are closer and within his grasp. The Father represents the past, the Son and Wife represent the future and present. So the painting is an allegory or metaphor about "clinging to the past" and losing the opportunities presented, or that may come to you in the future. Also of diminishing the experience and awareness of living in the present....Many of are living, or at least least have lived this way, myself included.
Special thanks to Shakti Selwood on Facebook for brining this evocative painting to my attention.
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Lee Chang Tye