"Das Zeichen des Bundes" from the Genesis section of the Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch (ca. 1552) — Source.
Or, since that hope denied in worlds of strife, Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life! The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray! (Lord Byron, The Bride of Abydos)
Depictions spanning more than 800 years – in chronological order – of that most enigmatic of weather phenomena, the rainbow: from Noah's sign and the Book of Revelation, through to 18th-century optics, the epic landscapes of Romanticism, and modernist abstraction.
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Illustration of a rainbow in a 13th-century Persian manuscript by Zakariya ibn Muhammad Qazwini — Source.
Detail of a miniature from the 14th-century manuscript known as the "Egerton Genesis Picture Book", picturing the Fifth day of Creation, with God creating animals, including a monkey, a deer, a bear, and a lion — Source.
Detail from a Hans Memling painting depicting scenes from The Book of Revelation, 1479 — Source.
Miniature in the Ottheinrich Bible (ca. 1530), depicting The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, on of whom is brandishing a rainbow — Source.
John and the Angel, from the Book of Revelation section of the Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch (ca. 1552) — Source.
Allegory of water, personified by Venus, part of an album by Adriaen Collaert, after Maerten de Vos, ca. 1580 — Source.
Image depicting the Story of Noah, with the rainbow of the covenant, from the Trevelyon Miscellany, 1608 — Source.
Emblem for Cum severitate lenitas (Even in harshness there is mercy) represented by a storm cloud and a rainbow, from a book of emblems by Henry Peacham, ca. 1610 — Source.
Fishing for Souls by Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne, 1614. To the left are the Protestant north Netherlanders, and to the right the Catholic southerners. Both parties fish for souls in the wide river dividing them — the Protestants’ catch greater than that of the Catholics — Source.
Man before a rainbow, in Christoph Weigel's Ethica Naturalis seu Documenta Moralia e Variis rerum Naturalium proprietatibus Virtutum Vitiorumq symbolicis imaginibus collecta (ca. 1700) — Source.
Image from an alchemical manuscript by an unknown author, ca. 1725 — Source.
Plate LXVI from Johann Jakob Scheuchzer's Physica Sacra (1731) — Source.
Landscape near Rome during a Storm (ca. 1786–1806) by Simon Denis – Source.
Design 51, "The Progress of Poesy", from William Blake's The Poems of Thomas Gray (1797–98) — Source.
Plate 14 from William Blake's Jerusalem (1804–1820), "One hair nor particle of dust...." — Source.
Engraving by Royce from 1805, showing a double rainbow over fields in the country — Source.
Mountain Landscape with Rainbow (1809–10) by Caspar David Friedrich — Source.
Colour drawings of a rainbow at sea and on land, from the sketchbook of Jan Brandes, Vol. 1 (1808) — Source.
Heroic Landscape with Rainbow (1824) by Joseph Anton Koch — Source.
The Battle of Dürnkrut and Jedenspeigen (ca. 19th century), unknown artist though is initialled with "SM" — Source.
The Falls from the Western End of the Chasm (1856), print made by unknown artist after Thomas Baines — Source.
Rainy Season in the Tropics (1866) by Frederic Edwin Church — Source.
Coloured lithograph, 1868, depicting a double rainbow, by René Henri Digeon after Étienne Antoine Eugène Ronjat — Source.
Landscape with a Rainbow (1881) by Alexei Savrasov — Source.
Colour lithograph by Félix Bracquemond, after 1885 — Source.