Thursday, 5 October 2006

Loose ends

Artist Henry Fuseli (about whom I mumbled a few things in an earlier post) had a brother called Johann Kaspar Füssli. JK was also an artist. In between daubing the canvases, he studied insects. (Perhaps he became interested when they stuck to the paint. Perhaps I should think less.)

What is the relevance of this? Well, Johann (aka John Caspar Fuesslin) described the common daddy long legs spider, Pholcus phalangoides, in 1775. (Actually, he placed it in the genus Aranea, which was a catchall for just about every long-legged spider scuttling about the place. Pholcus wasn't recognised as a separate genus for 30 years.)

Neat, huh?



Maybe he got interested in insects when he started using carmine, a red dye that is extracted from a scale insect that lives in Mexico.

Snail said...

I like your thinking!