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Reproduced courtesy of Dr Jane Stackpool

Numbfish (Hypnos monopterygium)

Date: 1977 - 1984
Overall: 250 x 380 mm
Display Dimensions: 760 x 1040 x 50 mm
Medium: Acrylic on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Walter Stackpool
Object Copyright: © Dr Jane Stackpool
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00000550
Place Manufactured:Queensland

User Terms

    Painting of a Numbfish (Hypnos monopterygium) by Walter Stackpool. It was commissioned for Jack Pollard's books 'Australian Fishes' first published in 1978 and 'The Complete Illustrated Guide to Fish' published in 1991.
    SignificanceWalter Stackpool became one of Australia's most prolific illustrators and his images of Australian fish are still widely used as references today.
    HistoryWalter Stackpool was originally planning to be an artist prior to joining the army in WW2. He enlisted in 1942 and became a lieutenant in the 2/8 Field Regiment which was primarily formed from men from the eastern states of Australia. During the course of the war his artistic skills were noted by a fellow solider and publisher and on his return to Australia and discharge from the army in 1946, Stackpool became a popular illustrator for what became widely known as "pulp fiction". These included Westerns and detective or crime novels.
    Stackpool also found a talent for illustrating children’s and history books, with over 100 to his credit. His belief was that illustration "apart from being an art form, was essentially a didactic craft - even when it is ostensibly only to amuse'. He listed the three essentials of illustrating as sound draughtsmanship; accuracy of detail; and good clear technique in rendering, whether in colour or black and white, for good reproduction in the printing".
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