LA BALEINE DE BISCAYE

LA BALEINE DE BISCAYE

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The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is also called "Biscay whale" or "Basque whale", due to Basque fishermen who in the fifteenth century, in the Bay of Biscay, systematically attacked it when it approached the coast to breed. In Biarritz, Bidart, Guéthary or Saint-Jean-de-Luz, this whaling is developing, as it is so beneficial for everyone. To catch cetaceans, scouts patrolled aboard a small boat called txalupa (Basque rowboat). The skippers of the txalupas, each of whom usually carried six rowers and a harpooner, ordered their crew to row quickly, but discreetly, towards cetaceans that had risen to the surface or fallen asleep.
The Basques drove it from the coast farther and farther out to sea because of its richness in oil and its long baleen. Treated in this way, the slow right whale had almost entirely disappeared a century later, and paradoxically it owed its survival only to its rarity.

Acrylic paint and Posca on varnished teak wood