Science Art: Wels (Catfish) by Heinrich Harder, from Unsere Süßwasserfische by Dr. Emil Walter, 1913.

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A color plate from the BioDiversity Library’s edition of Our Freshwater Fish, first published in Leipzig in 1913.

Heinrich Harder, as well as illustrating natural history books, displayed landscape paintings in galleries in his home city of Berlin. He also painted dinosaurs. Lots of them. There’s something primordial about this catfish, isn’t there? I suppose that’s true for all catfish, but Harder’s catfish seems especially… ancient. Even with that smile.