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Art Discussion and Galleries

Art history | Mermaid-art technique | Collections, Others' | Storybook illustrations | Polish city mermaids

Art history

"Mermaids and the Fin de Siecle" . Resizable images, with perceptive analysis of the gender constructions behind Fin de Siecle (and much of Western) mermaids.

"Sirens especially were viewed as symbols of lesbianism, their sexuality both alluring and threatening, and like lesbian relationships (at least as the conventional wisdom of the time went), sirens viewed men as either prey to be consumed or inconsequential playthings to be destroyed. That, and their apparent inability to consumate sexual relations with a man made mermaids dangerously perverse in the Victorian mindset."

The Mermaid by Heinz Insu Fenkl, originally from Realms of Fantasy magazine (October 2003). This is a well-written jaunt through mermaids in legend and pop-culture, touching the Starbucks logo, Splash, Disney's Little Mermaid, She Creature, and Dagon. The author has gender and religious axes to grind, and there are a few errors of wishful-thinking[1]. Fenkl's attack on Disney's Little Mermaid is great. In his words, Arial is

"…an inversion of the mythic mermaid. She sacrifices her beautiful voice to gain the temporary legs that will allow her to woo her terrestrial love, Eric. While the traditional mermaids are said to seduce sailors with the sound of their beautiful singing, luring them into shipwreck and death in order to consume their souls (because they, themselves lack a soul), Ariel does exactly the reverse."

"Of the Pictures of Mermaids, Unicornes, and some others," from Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646/1672). 17th century sceptic touches on mermaids, but the bit on lions is pricess.

Galway's Medieval Mermaids, on a medieval Irish mermaid.

Little Mermaid unofficial homepage. Comprehensive site by Ole Skaerbaek. The vandalism page is extremely sad—it's lost its arm once, its head twice (and one more partial attempt), and was knocked off the stone entirely on Sept. 11, 2003. The site has an excellent fun page, with jigsaw puzzles.

Hans-Henrik T. Ohlsen's Copenhagen Pictures, with a page on the little mermaid and advice on how best to take your photo with her.

"The Kelpie" by Herbert James Draper (1913). The National Museum, Liverpool, holds the painting and discusses it.

Paul Delvaux's disquieting The Village of the Mermaids (1942), with a poem on it by Lisel Mueller.

Another poem on the painting, by Amie Couchon., maintained by the heirs of the sculpter, Edvard Eriksen. They sell reproductions and have an interesting gallery of first-drafts,

Danish women, particularly the little mermaid, from Old Denmar in Cyberspace, a "first aid kit" for potential visitors. Funny.

"Fantastical Fighters" part of a long essay on fantasy cat-fights, ending with commentary on Julie Bel's mermaid fight.

"They seem to be fighting over a guy. But WHAT about him? Was he killed by one of the mermaids whose rival fights her in protest? Or can these magical beings revive the man but must first settle who gets the job and, logically, the man? Or, in fact, is this man simply a casualty of a larger conflict of which these two mermaids are only a part? Like all good art, we the viewers must supply the answer and nurture our own fantasies with it."
from The Combative Woman's Web Site: "by women, for women, about women wrestling women."

Absurdist Little Mermaid web game ("Throw all the snowballs you want, but don't hit the poor mermaid!") by Rolf V. Ostergaard

The Odense Zoo, also in Denmark, has another Little Mermaid statue.

Mermaid-art technique

Advice on how to Photoshop yourself into a mermaid from the artist at Mermaid's Tail.

Fantasy Art Technique demonstrated on a mermaid painting by Scot Howden.

Collections, Others'

Galleries 1, 2, 3 from The Enchanted Waters.

Ed's Mermaid Page has an extraordinary number of contemporary mermaid art galleries—well over 100! For me to call him obsessed with mermaid art might seem like the pot calling the kettle black. But there's a difference. I shall admit here—which no one will read—that I envisioned this site having mostly Victorian and Fin de Siecle material. I began adding contemporary art with no clear idea of how much there was. Then, once I was a few hundred in, I was stuck; pride drove me on. Ed's committment appears to be of an entirely different character. Whereas I rely on the "thumbnail" principle—which doesn't require artist permission—he's taken the trouble to contact and secure permision for full-size images. These and a million other reasons point to one inescapable conclusion: this guy's in a mermaid-fan universe all his own.

Midnight Muse. Gallery of mostly 19c. mermaid art, available as posters.

Museo Virtuale Dei Bagni di Mare e del Turismo Balneare (Virtual Museum of Sea Baths and Bathing Tourism) has a number of seaside and bathing images, some of mermaids.

Mike's Photo Album: Mermaids. Includes the "Lake Superior Mermaids" of Rodd C. Umlauf, a large collection of Jack Henslee's work, and others'. He also has a page devoted to the work of Hajime Sorayama, with some incidental—and rather racy—mermaid art.

Gallery from the Mermaids on Parade, a Norfolk, Virginia project like Chicago's "Cows on Parade" or Los Angeles' "City of Angels." Dozens of artists paint and decorate identical mermaid sculptures, which are posted around the city and later sold. You can also vote on your favorite.

Mermaid Scales. Mermaid photos from advertisements and elsewhere, collected and rated (ie., G, PG, R) by Kurt Cagle, from his Sea Tails Online.

Sirens of the Silver Screen. Still collected by Kurt Cagle. These are mostly oddities—Mexican music videos, old barbie advertisements, etc.

Lady's Fantasy Realm. This site includes fantasy images of mermaids, many of which are thumbnailed in our galleries. Unfortunately, the site is framed to prevent deep linking. Therefore, you're on your own. Have fun exploring!

Art and representation galleries from Jonathan Cheek's course Narrative Identity: The Mermaid Myth.

Sirenology and Hatian Art from Jonathan Cheek's Narrative Identity website.

Art gallery from Karen Jacubec's History of Mermaids page.

Text with illustrations from recent picture books from Miranda Hawkins' Purple Dragon's Favorite Fairy Tales.

The "great gallery of animated mermaids!" Dazzle 'em.

Mermaid pinups for sale from *MOTO.

Page of Meerjungfrau pinups , some not seen elsewhere. Some appear to have been cut out of other contexts.

Camarila's Image Gallery: Mermaids. The main gallery is quite extensive as well.

Mermaids in Bottles (really), from The Fantasy Within Collection by Lorlei.

Mermaid Pictures from an MSN group, most by Delamare.

Storybook illustrations

Edmund Dulac's illustrations from a 1911 edition of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" from Heidi Anne Heiner's The Annotated Little Mermaid .

Harry Clarke's illustrations from a 1916 edition of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" from Heidi Anne Heiner's The Annotated Little Mermaid .

Vilhelm Pedersen's illustrations from a 1873 German edition of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" from Heidi Anne Heiner's The Annotated Little Mermaid .

Arthur Rackham's illustrations from a 1932 edition of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" from Heidi Anne Heiner's The Annotated Little Mermaid .

W. Heath Robinson's illustrations from a 1913 edition of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" from Heidi Anne Heiner's The Annotated Little Mermaid .

Margaret Tarrant's illustrations from a 1910 edition of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" from Heidi Anne Heiner's The Annotated Little Mermaid .

Polish city mermaids

Audio: Morning Edition: "Mermaid Nip and Tuck." On the mermaid symbol of Ustka, Poland, and attempts to give it breast-enlargement.

Ustka's shield (the only image I could find). I think this is pre-change.

Reuters on Ustka's mermaid (the source of all stories, as far as I can tell), preserved on the Telegraph, Calcutta India.

Warsaw's Mermaid by Bill Biega. History of the city's proud, sword-wielding mermaid.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may like this other site by me:

Seahorse and Sea Dragon Central. Comprehensive guide to seahorse and sea dragons.

Angels on the Web. Images and other web resources on angels in Western culture, religion and art.

Hammerhead Shark! Hammerheads in all their glory, with a picture galery.