Keverslakken in de kunst
Spirula , Volume 333 - Issue 1 p. 82- 84
Though molluscs have inspired art from Palaeolithic times to the present, chitons have mostly gone unnoticed by both artists and collectors. Attention may be drawn, however, to two representations of chitons originating in the western hemisphere, one from pre-contact Mexico, the other from Easter Island (Rapa Nui). The Mexican example dates from 700-900 AD and was discovered at a Maya-influenced site in the Puebla-Tlaxcala-Basin called Cacaxtla, where well-preserved murals were found displaying warriors in jaguar and eagle costumes. These figures are surrounded by ornamental borders crowded with aquatic animals, including snakes, turtles and different kinds of shells (inhabited by mammal-like creatures with legs). Dispersed among them are nine oval organisms that can only be interpreted as chitons, although the eight valves of the shell have been reduced to a maximum of four. The example from Easter Island is even more impressive because of its size (14.7 cm) and its wealth of detail. It was acquired by the Ethnographic Museum in Oslo in 1875 and definitely represents a chiton, carved from wood. It has, however, thirteen segments instead of eight, and therefore lacks the extraordinary realism displayed by two other artefacts from Easter Island in the shape of an octopus and a turtle. All three objects were apparently used as pendants, but only the chiton retains its cord made of human hair. Of course chitons were not unknown in Europe, but they do not seem to be depicted before the turn of the 17th to the 18th century. Rumphius includes one in his Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet and both Levinus Vincent (1658-1727) and Albertus Seba (1665-1736) were in possession of some specimens, although in Seba’s Thesaurus they were illustrated in the rather curious company of some snakes and not among the innumerable molluscan species where they rightfully belong. In the 19th century a three-dimensional chiton was incorporated in a large French dish in the style of Bernard Palissy that featured many other shells and a number of lizards, amphibians and a snake as well.
|CC BY-NC 4.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding-NietCommercieel")|
|Organisation||Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging|
C.J.H.M. Tax. (2003). Keverslakken in de kunst. Spirula, 333(1), 82–84.
|595458.jpg Cover Image , 13kb|