Reclining nude on rock, painting by Adolphe La Lyre (1850-1935) 

Another painting by Adolphe La Lyre. This is another painting that questions the true nature of mermaids. The woman has ordinary legs but seem to have a fish tail at the end of them, but it is not clear if that is the case, the woman’s legs are not actually joined to the fish tail. It could be just a fish with it’s tail out of the water. So again, is the artist using this ambiguity to hint at the true nature of mermaids? 

Another picture of the controversial statue of a giant mermaid on Kollam beach, Kerala.
Glamour picture of Ama, from a Japanese film
Another glamour picture of Ama, from a Japanese film 

This painting is called “Diana and her Nymphs”. Diana was the Goddess of the Nymphs or Sea People. 

[Photograph by Fosco Maraini, from his book, Hekura, The Diving Girl’s Island.]

[Japanese photograph of two Amas.]

“Sirens”, painted by Henrietta Rae, this is painted as a mythological scene but if we accept that sirens and nymphs were breath holding divers, like the Japanese Ama, then this would also be true of this picture.

Glamorized picture of Korean Haenyo divers, could it be that many Mermaid paintings are simply glamorized pictures of female breath holding divers?

Picture of Ama by a Japanese photographer, with only one thing on his mind.

Still taken from a Japanese film

“A Naiad.”

Drawing in book by French painter by Charles Zacharie Landelle (1821 – 1908). A naiad is an ancient Greek word for mermaid. In the picture, as a naiads or mermaid she is looks as if she is foraging in a river for food.  So again, did this artist know the true nature of mermaids?

Photograph of two Amas in a Japanese film

Japanese sex film of Ama Divers

Painting by Fernand Lequesne (1856-1932)http://www.iment.com/maida/family/mother/vicars/fernandlequesne.htm

This painting is called “the two pearls” and has a lot of symbolic meaning within it.  The two pearls probably refer to the two women in the picture as you get both black and white pearls and women did pearl diving in the 19th century.  We see one of the women pointing towards ships coming towards them and the other looking concerned.  This could be a reference of the persecution of female breath-holding divers that was still going on in the 19th century.  The fact you have both a dark skin and light skin women in the picture suggests that this persecution happened to native women in Australia and Pacific islands, as well as Mermaids in Europe.  The extremely large oyster shell gives this picture a mythological feel about it, so people will not associated too quickly to what was going on when the artist painted the picture.


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