Spider courtship by Smith

Arthur Smith (1916-1991)
The courtship of Pisaura mirabilis, 1960.
Watercolour, 670 x 806 mm.

Arthur Smith was one of the most highly productive scientific illustrators of the twentieth century. Best known for his drawings of insects, he developed an unusual technique of combining coloured inks, watercolours and pencil to achieve the desired effect.

This dramatic drawing of the spider Pisaura mirabilis (sometimes known as the nursery web spider) is the largest watercolour produced by Arthur Smith. Full of action, it depicts the moment in courtship when the male gives the female a present of a fly wrapped in threads.


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