John Dory | 𝘑𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘧𝘒𝘣𝘦𝘳

It could be strange to hear in the same sentence the words “Mediterranean sea” and “corals”.
Usually when we think about corals we travel with our mind to some exotic place like the Red sea, Maldives, the Caribbean sea. But surprisingly there are corals in Europe too.

The violescent sea-whip (Paramuricea clavata) is one of the most common mediterranean coral.
Its italian name “Gorgonia” cames from the classic mithology. Its serpentine branchings resemble the serpentine hair of Medusa, one of the Gorgones of the greek myth.
The violescent sea-whip can be found in rocky underwater cliffs and seabeds at a depth of 25 meters minimum.

Like in the tropical seas, the corals give protection to a lot of species that can hide from predartors and find food among the fire red coral forest.
In the painting we can spot some of the species that can be found in a violescent sea-whip colony in the Adriatica sea.

The biggest is the John Dory (Zeus faber), a voracious predator that can grow up to 65 cm, that can be easily recognized by its dark spot on each side.

Another pretty big fish is the Common Pandora (Pagellus erythrinus) a species that can be found in a great variety of sea bottoms like the rocky ones.

A very common species is the Damselfish (Chromis chromis) that we can see here in the juvenile form. Even if the audults have a dark brown coloration, the juveniles are coloured in a astonishing electric blue.

On the back we can spot a school of European Anchovies that passes away like a giant living cloud.

When I got commissioned this painting I was told to recreate the habitat of the John Dory and to settle it in the Adriatic sea. I thought that a coral colony, so full of life, could be the perfect environment to settle the scene.


Year: 2021

Client: Private Commission

Software: Adobe Photoshop

Dimension (for Print): 118,8 x 84 cm @ 300 dpi

Dimension (in Pixel): 14031 x 9921 px

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All images Β© Simone Zoccante 2018-2023. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Simone Zoccante.