Fish! Fish has been prevalent in art since the beginning of time. As an important food source for humans, it’s unsurprising that they’ve been included in art and literature. They have a rich history in myth and religion (loaves with that, anyone?). But, far more than just a source of nourishment, fishes are actually pretty good lookin’!

That’s why I thought they deserved a fabulous gallery of their own, dedicated to vintage fish illustrations! Thanks to 18th and 19th-century marine biologists who used art as a tool to record and communicate their scientific findings, we now have a wealth of beautiful fish images in the public domain. Most of the illustrations here are actually chromolithographs or hand-colored lithographs. The level of detail is astonishing, and due to their scientific nature, we can assume that most of these illustrations are biologically correct too. You’ll find colorful tropical fish, whiskered fish, angelic fish, stripey fish, fish with faces only a mother could love, and fish that will make your blood run cold. Enjoy!

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