Monday, May 6, 2013

John Dory

I got another fish painted tonight; I’m on a roll! This is the latest fish for my new piece, “We All Swim Together.” It is a John Dory, and I painted it tonight because it was the same colors as the Streaked Spinefoot I painted earlier today. The paints were all mixed up, and I figured I better use them before they dried out and were wasted.

John Dory
Latin Name:
Zeus faber
Found worldwide in warm seas, mostly in coastal areas.
Depth: 15-1200 feet
16" and 4-7 pounds
In the Mediterranean, it is called a “Saint Peter’s Fish” beca
use of a tale of St. Peter pulling a golden coin out of its mouth. (And the circle on the fish is reminiscent of a coin.) Wikipedia notes:
“In New Zealand, Māori know it as kuparu, and on the East Coast of the North Island, they gave some to Captain James Cook on his first voyage to New Zealand in 1769.” 

Also on Wikipedia: “Various explanations are given of the origin of the name. It may be an arbitrary or jocular variation of dory (itself from the French dorée, gilded), or perhaps an allusion to John Dory, the hero of an old ballad. Others suggest that ‘John’ derives from the French jaune, yellow. The novel An Antarctic Mystery by Jules Verne gives another account, which has some popularity but is probably fanciful: “The legendary etymology of this piscatorial designation is Janitore, the 'door-keeper,' in allusion to St. Peter, who brought a fish said to be of that species, to Jesus at his command.” (St. Peter is said to be keeper of the gates of Heaven, hence "door-keeper".) Considering that the other known names for the John Dory are the "St. Pierre", or "Peter's Fish", as referenced above, this seems the most likely etymological origin, and may also explain why dories were often referred to as Peter Boats (Saint Peter being the patron saint of fishermen). A related legend says that the dark spot on the fish's flank is St. Peter's thumbprint.”


Here is “We All Swim Together” so far: 

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