Grinning Tortoise Drawing

What’s a girl to do when the description is two words, in French? And, the French loosely translates to chagrinned tortoise? Why call our friend a grinning tortoise drawing of course.

Whatever we call him, it does appear as if this tortoise is grinning at us. His shell is unusual. No doubt someone more familiar with reptiles and tortoises could tell us his name. His shell looks a bit like a pleated skirt. Dots and stripes cover the long pleated sections. His legs don’t seem particularly scaly and his neck is about average in length. His tail, if he has one, is hidden under his shell. And, check out those toe nails.

I think he’s cute in a woe-be-gone, humble sort of way. No doubt Jean-Charles Chenu (1808-1879) did not name this turtle for his cheeky grin. Chenu was a famous French physician and naturalist. He wrote a number of books on the animals and plants we share this world with. I’ve been able to decipher most of his illustrations but I couldn’t find this one. This fellow comes from the 1856 work Encyclopedie d’histoire naturelle, Reptiles et Poissons.

If you need a grinning tortoise drawing and the species doesn’t matter, I’ve got you covered. Just click on the one shown here to be sure you save the largest version of the image file.

vintage grinning tortoise drawing from

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.