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The Whale Assists in the Discovery of the New World
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: watercolor
Place made: unknown
Date made: 1800-1899
Measurements: 14 1/2 in x 9 in
A near exact watercolor copy of a seventeenth century print, showing a large whale with stovepipe-like blowholes and a ship, altar, and praying men upon its back; the whale and five ships and boats are shown among islands off the Atlantic (not shown to scale) including the Isle of St. Brandano, the Canary Islands, and Insulae Fortunae; on the right are Spain and Africa. The altar and praying men is a reference to one of the stories of St. Brendan, who lived in 6th c. Ireland, which describes the saint building an altar on the back of a sleeping whale.