Phenomena Over and Under the Earth (1878)

This beautiful presentation, painted in gouache, of various atmospheric conditions is the work of a painter named Josef Gabriel Frey, from Weyer in Austria. We learn this from a tiny inscription in the bottom right of the work, which also tells us it was made in Frey's 88th year, six years before he died. Among the many natural phenomena on show is will-o'-the-wisp ("Ihrlichter"), a moonbow ("Mond Regenbogen"), and the Northern Lights ("Nordlicht"). The image with the lion labelled "Samuni" is slightly mysterious, but is most likely a reference to "Simoom" ("samūm" in Arabic, translating to "poison wind") — a strong, dry, dust-laden wind found blowing in parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

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Digital Copy RightsPD Wikimedia
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