Fishes of the Rainbow

Henry Compton's Art of the Reefs

978-1-62349-696-8 Cloth
10 x 10 x 0 in
216 pp. 108 artwork. Index.
Pub Date: 02/13/2019


  • Cloth $40.00
In warm, shallow waters around the world, coral reefs teem with tens of thousands of marine species. Reefs rival rain forests in biodiversity, and about a third of the world’s marine fish species live part of their lives on coral reefs.

In the 1960s, marine biologist Henry “Hank” Compton (1928–2005) of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Rockport Marine Lab participated in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean research cruises on which some of these fishes were collected. A talented artist, Compton painted watercolors based on photographs of collected specimens. Along with taxonomic descriptions, Compton wrote imaginative narratives to accompany the paintings, humorous and quirky stories of the fishes in their light-filled, busy, colorful coral worlds.

Fishes of the Rainbow introduces art lovers and tropical fish enthusiasts to Compton’s world. Marine biologist David McKee provides context for Compton’s work as well as an informative overview of the science of coral reef ecosystems. Artist and art historian Mark Anderson explains Compton’s unique technique.

This beautifully illustrated, informative, and whimsical book will appeal to aquarium buffs, art aficionados, scuba divers, and marine conservationists. Around the world, warming ocean waters and increased ocean acidification threaten coral reefs. This book offers readers a glimpse into this vibrant ecosystem and the wildlife we stand to lose.

Gulf Coast Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Published by Texas A&M University Press