On a recent Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete, I visited the Historical Museum of Heraklion where I saw this beautiful embroidery on silk of a mermaid identified as having come from Koustogerako, a village in western Crete. As it is unlikely that a man in Crete would have known how to embroider, in this case "Anonymous" most definitely "was a woman."
In this thread painting a mermaid surrounded by fish is holding the anchor of a ship in one hand and a fish in the other. In Greece the mermaid is the protectress of sailors. In a well-known legend, a mermaid said to be the sister of Alexander the Great, emerges from the sea in front of a ship during a storm and asks: “Is Alexander the Great still living?” If the sailors answer, “Yes, he lives and reigns,” the ship is saved.
In this image the mermaid–who does not much resemble “the little mermaid” of recent lore—is identified by the woman who embroidered her as: “GORGONA, H THEA TIS THALASSIS,” MERMAID GODDESS OF THE SEA.”