The Mermaid Paintings Art Gallery... Featuring Realistic Mermaid Paintings & Pictures of Classical, Celtic, & Victorian Mermaids & Mermen - Mermaid Art created in a style inspired by Classic Illustrators by Contemporary American Artist & Photographer Howard David Johnson... Welcome lovers of Mermaid paintings & Mermaid art for all ages...

Mermaid art painting

Mermaids & Mermen:  Contemporary Mythical Art 

     A brief introduction to Western merman and mermaid folklore and mythology with a gallery featuring new paintings, drawings and pictures  in traditional oils, acrylics, prismacolors pencils and cutting edge 2D and 3D digital media in the style of the classic illustrators!

            "The Ascension"  MMXII Oil on Canvas

"Mermaid searching a galleon"  MMXIX Mixed Media      


MERMAIDS AND MERMEN; Origins of Mermaid folklore and an Art Gallery of Realistic Mermaid Paintings & Pictures and a brief definition and cultural history of Mermaids. 

General Admission Mermaid Art Gallery

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   Mermaids are mythical and legendary sea-dwelling creatures of European & Asian folklore, resembling a woman, with a human torso, but having a fishtail or tails instead of legs. Mermen are also heard of, but have a secondary role in the lore of the sea. Other similar water spirits include nymphs, dryads, oceanids, hamadryads, naiads, nerieds, oreads, and undines.

Merbabies"  MMXI Mixed Media     


    Mermaids are supposed to be able to lure imaginative, amorous men to destruction by enticing them into the depths of the sea; and, as a correlative, they are sometimes represented as securing their own destruction by quitting the sea, through marriage with a human husband. By this means they magically obtain temporarily a complete human form and soul, but always end in disaster to one or both of the sacrilegious pair.

"Mermaid Chorale"  MMXV Mixed Media

Mermaids and Mermen; Oannes or Hea, the fish god; The folkloric origins of the mermaid may go back to the semifish gods of ancient religions, such as the Philistine Dagon [below] and the Oannes of the Chaldaeo-Babylonian religion and the popular mythologies of the Greeks and Romans featured them prominently in the classic tales of the sea.


"Horror of DAGON"  MMXVI Mixed Media

Mermaid art mermaid painting



"The Sea Witch"  MMXVI Mixed Media



"Queen of Atlantis"  MMXVI Mixed Media



"A Terrifying Divination"  MMXVI Mixed Media






These deities are identical with the Greek Nereus, who is also pictured with the upper half of the body quite human, while the lower half is that of a fish.  Nereus is also often portrayed as entirely a man, one of many shape-shifters of myth and folklore.   Poseidon, or Neptune,  from Greek and Roman mythology pictured below in both his forms, is probably the most famous of all the world's sea deities.

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 Oannes, who is said to have brought civilization to Babylonia, is sometimes figured as quite human, but dressed in the fish skins, according to berosus, and is represented as such in an image found at Nimrud by Layard. Many forms of mermaids and mermen may be found among these deities of the most ancient civilizations, and they also appear in early Celtic and Germanic (Teutonic ) mythology.









By the late middle ages the existence of mermaids as living sea creatures was firmly believed. They are represented in many coats of arms. Although scientific belief in mermaids had largely faded by the 1700’s, public credulity had not. In 1611 reliable Dutch explorer Henry Hudson reported having sighted mermaids. Many seamen reported sighting them and there were scholarly accounts of the capture and examination of a number of such creatures.  

Similar mermaid and merman like figures, occur again and again in ancient, medieval, and later art and folklore. This curious belief may be simply explained away as a personifying of the power of the sea. Or again, the accounts of seals and other marine animals may have originated an idea that the sea contains many half-human creatures. There remains the euhemeristic solution, attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes or real persons and events. 

Many stories of mermaids and sea-men resolve themselves into descriptions of a race like the Eskimos, who, when in their skin kayaks appeared from a distance to early voyagers like mermaids and mermen, with their upper torso well above the water. . It has also been suggested by some scientists that such marine animals as the dugong or the closely related manatee may, at a distance bear enough resemblance to a human female to have given vigor to the mermaid legend. 

Fake mermaids were exhibited well into the 1800’s and popular fascination with mermaids continues in our culture through new motion pictures, art, and literature to this day


Thank you for visiting Mermaids & Mermen: Origins of Mermaid folklore: An Educational Art Gallery with paintings & pictures of mermaids.


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All these pieces of art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting


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If your home is not listed here please e-mail us and tell us where you're from..

Thank you for Visiting ~ Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.




Many pieces are currently available, mostly 11x14-13x16 inch Prismacolor Paintings (like Helen of Troy) and pencil portraits (like Arriba #2) followed in number by Acrylic, Prismacolor and pastel mixed media all on #400 Strathmore Bristol Board ranging from $700.00-$1400. 00 USD and Oil Paintings on canvas ranging from $1999.00 - 10,000.00 USD.  Pieces that have never been rendered in oil can be commissioned in 16x20 inch size on canvas for 50% down and delivered in under 90 days with signed certificates of authenticity aka legal documents pledging never to render it in that size and media again to ensure premium collectability and investment potential.

David can also do a completely new picture designed in digital media (for more on this visit his digital media page) and when we approve the photo-montage, he uses it as reference to render it in oil on canvas. No surprises.  Existing Artwork is shipped very well protected and go out to you immediately via Fed Ex or USPS Express mail upon receipt of payment at our expense. All new creations cost a bit more depending on what is involved. All new creations and rendering photo montages into art on paper are a LOT of fun with e-mail attachments and digital cameras. 


Almost all of Johnson's Mixed Media creations (above left) displayed in this site are available to be rendered in oil on canvas like the 20x16 oil on canvas Faerie Guardians 2006 (above right). Each design will only be rendered in oil once at this size and can be delivered in as little as 90 days. Sadly, much of the subtlety, vibrance, lustre and impact of an original oil painting is lost when it is scanned and imported to digital media or even printed by a master printer. Nothing can compare to an original oil painting viewed in person in my opinion but the other painting media definitely look good in print and have their charms and distinct advantages as well.

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Thank you for Visiting... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.



Howard David Johnson works in a wide variety of media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * and last but not least: Digital Artistry & Mixed Media *  Because of the use of photography in everything he does, even Johnson's all-oil paintings can be termed mixed media.*


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Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( 1840- 1893) - "Swan Lake"


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This Gallery is lovingly dedicated to the Victorian Illustrators and Mermaid Artists who inspired me...

All  these images & text are legally copyrighted & were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright  by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many legal non-commercial uses is freely available by simply contacting the author or visiting