Centriscus Scolopax; Centriscus Scutatus; Cyclopterus Liparis
- Centriscus Scolopax; Centriscus Scutatus; Cyclopterus Liparis
- Title (alt.) :
Centriscus Scolopax; Centriscus Scutatus; Cyclopterus Liparis. [Plate] 123
Marcus Elieser Bloch, a German physician with a passion for natural history, compiled a groundbreaking ichthyological reference work in the 18th century. Frustrated by his predecessors' incomplete texts, Bloch decided to catalogue all of the world's known fish. His resulting twelve-volume book, Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische, was published between 1782 and 1795 and described 432 types of fish, 267 of which were previously undiscovered. Bloch's informative text was accompanied by copperplate engravings by several artists and draftsmen, including Gabriel Bodenehr, Johann Friedrich Hennig, Andreas Ludwig Krüger, C. L. Schmidt, J. G. Schmidt, and Ludewig Schmidt, among many others. Created from life, the masterful prints later received color finishes which capture their subjects so accurately that present-day ichthyologists continue to consult them. Marcus Elieser Bloch commissioned print 123 to portray three different species of fish. Published between 1785 and 1795, the plate was drawn by Andreas Ludwig Krüger and engraved by Ludewig Schmidt, who delivered a plain, evenly spaced composition so the viewer focuses solely on the specimen pictured. Figure 1 portrays Centriscus scolopax, reclassified as Macroramphosus scolopax and commonly known as a Longspine snipefish. Minimal hatching gives a realistic sense of the fish's round form, while vibrant watercolors liven the carefully arranged scales. Centriscus scutatus in Figure 2, also known as a grooved razor-fish, contains hatch marks but relies on remarkably value-sensitive colors to build form. Figures 3 and 4 represent Cyclopterus liparis, or the ribbon snailfish, originally called the unctuous sucker, though now known as Liparis cyclopus. Vivid patterns in Figure 3 suggest that the fish was copied from life, and the use of hatch marks and color add to the realism of the piece. The print also features three cross-sections, one for each species, to reinforce its scientific intent.
- Krüger, Andreas Ludwig
- Schmidt, Ludewig
- Northeastern University Library
- Collection (local):
Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische
Marine Life Prints
- Link to Item:
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Marcus Elieser Bloch