JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 155
Contrary to common belief and image saturation, the Mermaid was not exactly a cuddly, whimsically enchanting, luxuriously beautiful creature, as this woodcut from the British The MIrrour (1835) magazine attests. The mermaid is old and world-wide, but in British storytelling, it is mostly an ominous creature, creating havoc, provoking doom and destruction, and perhaps even devouring ships (as they could be enormous in size, 150 feet and up). The syrienic beauties of John Waterhouse and Frederic Leighton et al, with beauty and intrigue dripping from their brushes, had little to do with most of the legends of these creatures. This is one of the most fascinating of these images that I've seen--in a pitched battle between The Kraken and this 150' mermaid, I think that the she-demon would win.