Sea Monsters At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Sea Monsters At The Metropolitan Museum of Art

As well as modern mysteries and strangeness, it’s always interesting to look back at how myths and legends are reflected in the culture of that time. Today we’re looking at sea monsters and their appearance in art via the collection at New York’s Metropolitan Museum Of Art. All the picture credits are from:

Man Fighting A Sea Monster

Man Fighting Sea Monster

This engraving is dated to the mid 16th Century, and depicts a battle between a man and what looks like a fierce looking sea beast. We can only assume that the other creatures that inhabit the picture are based on dolphins. We don’t know if there is a real-world basis for the sea creature, but if one reared its head whilst we were out walking on water, we’d no doubt want to clobber it with a stick like the man in the picture.

Peruvian Stirrup Spout Bottle with Sea Monster

1st - 6th Century Peruvian Stirrup Spout Bottle.

This fierce looking creature is displaying some human traits, one can only wonder what the source of this sea monster is. Was it some sea creature with humanoid traits that has long since died out? We can only guess.

Italian Sea Monster Bronze, 1500-1510

Italy Sea Monster Bronze 1500-1510

Another strange human / fish hybrid, with scary claws and angry countenance. This one comes from Italy, a bronze sculpture from 1500-1510 and we can’t help but wonder if its based on the same sort of creature as the Peruvian one. Mermaid maybe?

Italian Sea Monster Drawing, 1548-1612

Italy Sea Monster Drawing

This lovely beast is a pen and ink drawing dated as circa 1548-1612, and looks like it’s part sea snake, part griffin and definitely nothing you’d expect to find in a maritime biology text book.

Putti with Sea Monsters, 1610

Putti With Sea Monsters

Four separate plates here, each with a strange sea beast. A couple have octopus like tentacles, which would suggest their origin, but the one on the top right is a mystery to me, is that a sea bunny? The lobster’s the only one there we can say what it is, really.

Watson And The Shark, 1778

Watson And The Shark

Ok, so this one is strictly a cryptid, but it’s such a great picture we had to include it in this round-up. This 1778 painting by John Singleton Copley depicts the rescue of Brook Watson from a shark attack. Although not particularly strange, spooky or weird, it certainly would be terrifying to find yourself naked and about to be eaten by a shark!

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