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Delfino, Delphinus Delphis (Dolphin)

Date: c 1800
Dimensions:
Overall: 335 x 380 mm, 0.12 kg
Medium: Print on paper.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Print
Object No: 00019647

User Terms

    Description
    Coloured print of a dolphin stranded on a beach, with a sailing ship in the background. Dolphins were often caught by seamen as a source of fresh food and although smaller than whales, their jaws could be used for making scrimshaw. The print was produced in France and probably formed part of a collection of natural history prints.
    SignificanceThe print is an example of the natural history drawings published in large numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries. It shows the typical presentation of whales, dolphins and other sea mammals as stranded, and the unfolding knowledge of these sea creatures in European culture and science.
    HistoryKnowledge of marine animals in European culture and science evolved slowly from mediaeval times into later centuries. Natural history artists were largely unable to draw from life and instead used descriptions given by explorers, scientists and publishers. Many of their works were copied from earlier drawings and offered only slightly different interpretations of the previous studies. By the 19th century artists were increasingly providing more faithful depictions and moving away from unrealistic depictions.


    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Delfino, Delphinus Delphis (Dolphin)

    Web title: Delfino, Delphinus Delphis (Dolphin)

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