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Fish drawing from the Rio Negro - Curimata species

Fish drawing from the Rio Negro - Curimata species

Catalogue number: 88oWAL(2)/p12

Drawing of the fish Curimatus schomburkii, made on the Rio Negro in South America, dated November 1851.

This is one of the fish drawings that survived the shipwreck of the 'Helen' as Wallace made his way back home from Brazil. In all 200 drawings were saved. This particular specimen is labelled as Curimatus schomburkii (Günther). It is drawn to scale at half actual size.

Wallace caught and sketched the fish while in a cramped canoe, travelling along the Rio Negro. The perfect detail of the work is typical of Wallace - his observations of the intricacies of the natural world set him on his way to co-discover the mechanism of evolution. Wallace had a scientific mind, a love of nature and exploration and, as we see here, was a talented artist.

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Letter to Alfred Russel Wallace from the Royal Society, about his Darwin Medal award

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