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Jonah and Whale

Major collection: Hart Nautical
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: woodcut
Maker: unknown
Place made: Germany
Date made: 1500-1599
Materials: ink; paper; mounting
Measurements: 4 3/4 in x 6 1/2 in
Nomenclature: Jonah
Classification: whales

Monochrome image of the whale spitting Jonah onto dry land. The whale is in the right foreground, mouth agape; it resembles a giant fish with tentacle-like protrusions from above its mouth. Jonah is half-fallen backwards to the left of the fish, on a rock; his right arm is extended as if to break his fall, and his right leg is still in the water, while his left leg is tucked under him. His mouth is agape. He wears only a loincloth, and has no beard. Behind Jonah is a dog with small floppy ears, looking on at the scene, and a pair of trees with trunks entwined. In the center of the composition is an angel with short wings, pointing towards the whale and holding a narrow staff. Behind this is a stone arch leading onto a bridge, beyond which there is a bay and a costal city. In the city, towards the top right corner of the composition, is a spout or volcano releasing (or drawing in) a funicular body of wind or water. There is Gothic typeface faintly visible through the paper.