Where’s Whale?

The Fizwilliam Museum found a whale in a painting? Whale fancy that!

botticelli da vinci Fitzwilliam Museum mark rothko mona lisa seurat sunday in the park with george turner van Anthonissen View of Scheveningen Sands whale whale painting whale painting restoration

While carrying out conservation work in a gallery of the Fitzwilliam Museum, conservator Shan Kuang removed a layer of varnish and unveiled a whale, hidden in the 1641 painting by Hendrick van Anthonissen View of Scheveningen Sands.

Here is the painting pre-whale: 

I whale-y can’t see the whale

And post-whale:

Whale whale whale! What do we have here?

The painting is whale-y so much better with added whale, and so we’ve fished around for other works of art that would be improved with added sea life.

Turner’s Battle of Trafalgar

The largest mammals in the world played a vital role in the defeat of Napoleon.

The sailors will be blubbering

Rothko’s Whale

This enigmatic artist was clearly inspired by the lonesome creatures of the big blue ocean.

This is whale awkward

Sunday in the Park with Whale

In Seurat’s Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte, as with the Fitz painting, it’s suddenly a lot clearer why people are gathered around the water’s edge.

Having a whale of a time

Mona Lisa Killer Whale Smile

That mysterious smirk is finally explained.

She’s a whale flirt

Edward Hopper’s Whale

Is this what the bartender is looking at?

Barwhale or Narwhal?

Botticelli’s Venus, surrounded by gods, nymphs and whales

Because every cherub is a baby whale in disguise.

Singing whale song in exaltation

Van Anthonissen’s restored painting is currently on display in the Fitzwilliam Museum’s permanent collection.