A Katydid, a Fly, a Bee, and a Fulgoroid

Anonymous, Dutch, 17th century Dutch
Formerly attributed to Anonymous, Netherlandish, 16th century Netherlandish
Formerly attributed to Joris Hoefnagel Netherlandish

Not on view

This Dutch drawing, likely made in the seventeenth century, illustrates a new interest in observing and documenting insects, which were deemed unworthy of serious study in previous periods. The shadows cast by these organisms express realism, though the illusion is complicated by the insects’ varied positions: some were captured from above, while others are seen from the side. This rectangular sheet's small size and horizontal orientation, the latter of which accentuates the katydid's elongated body, are especially suitable for the drawing's subjects. The truncated upper wing of the bee in the upper register indicates, however, that this sheet has been cut down and calls into question whether its current dimensions were part of the artist’s original conception.

A Katydid, a Fly, a Bee, and a Fulgoroid, Anonymous, Dutch, 17th century ?, Pen and brown ink, gray wash, gouache, and watercolor

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