July, 21st 2022 to July, 26th 2023

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About the exhibition

The studio exhibition presents images of the rhinoceros on paper from three centuries. This period saw the transformation from a creature of the imagination to a realistically-depicted animal. In 1500, almost no-one in Europe had ever actually seen a rhinoceros, and the legendary creature was associated with myth and many stories. It was considered wild, dangerous and the elephant’s natural enemy, but also exotically fascinating, testimony to an unknown world.

Two images, in particular, were instrumental in shaping how the rhinoceros was seen over decades, if not centuries, on leaflets and in art. The first is Albrecht Duerer’s “Rhinoceros,” even though he too only knew of the animal from descriptions. Selected sheets from the 16th to the 18th century show how immensely popular Duerer’s woodcut was, and how many depictions of the rhinoceros followed it. The second is “Clara”, a rhinoceros who toured Europe in the mid 18th century with her business-minded owner and could be seen in Nuremberg in 1748 at the latest. As a result of these animal shows, the image changed from fantastic creature to realistically portrayed mammal.


+++Don't forget: Septembre 22, 2022 is World Rhino Day+++