Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Whales of Gothenburg

Here's a sketch I made at the Naural History Museum in Gothenburg where I drew the Sperm Whale skeleton. Apparently, a baby Great Blue Whale washed up on a beach somewhere in the late 19th Century, and, well, those crazy Victorians took it down to the local taxidermist. It's the only such object in the world, and, well, you can kinda tell that this was a first attempt. This is not a great example of the taxidermist's art. It's seamed and riveted like an old steamer trunk.

The head of the whale is hinged, and there are stairs in the mouth that lead down to an actual tearoom in the belly of the whale. Weird? Yes, but it gets weirder: the tearoom is only open during elections because "Whale" is a Swedish pun for "election."

Ah, Swedish humor.

Here's a shot of the Sperm Whale skeleton.

And then the blurred eye of the baby Blue. Just so you don't accuse me of making this up.

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