En Pleine Mer… Zarh Pritchard’s Underwater Paintings

A R T L▼R K

ZarhPritchard Zarh Pritchard, c. 1918

On the 29th of August 1956, British-American artist and the pioneer of underwater painting Zarh Pritchard died in Austin, Texas. ”Zarh Prichard was the first painter to compose based on observations en pleine mer. …In the 1910s and ‘20s, Pritchard’s works were internationally acclaimed as the first windows on the underwater frontier, and they were acquired by leading scientific institutions like the American Museum of Natural History, the Musée Océanographique of Monaco, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Although doubt was subsequently cast on whether Pritchard in fact really observed the scenes he painted, some of his works contain details only apparent in the underwater environment. In a 1910 painting of a school of damselfish located off of Moorea, Pritchard depicted, for example, how the fish swim into the surge, which is sweeping the anemones on the reef in the other direction.” (Margaret…

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