A few weeks ago, New Scientist did a write-up of Theodore Pietsche’s “Tropical Fishes of the East Indies.” The subject of Pietsche’s book is another book: Samuel Fallours’ “Fishes, Crayfishes, and Crabs,” published in 1719. Fallours’ book is filled with colorful pictures of fish he painted while living on the island of Ambon in Indonesia. Ambon Harbor is polluted now, but during Fallours’ time it was cleaner and the fish there brighter. Apparently though, Fallours exaggerated just a bit on how bright they were. See exhibit A after the break.
I can’t make a guess about the artistic or scientific merit of these pictures, but I love them and I’m glad Pietsche is bringing them to our attention. They’re gorgeous. Check out a sampling of the reproductions at New Scientist’s website.