Mughal paintings combine Persian and Indian painting traditions and are characterised by a rich palette, fine modelling and intricate detail. This painting dates from the end of the reign of the third Mughal Emperor, Akbar (c.1556–1605), who employed Indian artists and artists from the Iranian Safavid school in his imperial ateliers. Many Mughal paintings, such as this example, were originally illustrations in bound manuscripts which have since been disassembled. The story of Noah’s Ark appears in several Islamic texts, as Noah is revered in Islam as one of the prophets of God. This painting may be from a text describing the lives of the prophets, or from a poetic manuscript, dating from the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century.