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1551 Gesner armoured rhino after Durer

1551 Gesner armoured rhino after Durer


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1551 Gesner armoured rhino after Durer

Gesner Woodcut " Icones Animalium" 1560, reproduced from 1551. Published Christoph Froschover, Zurich. Gesner reproduces this image faithfully from the famous 1515 woodcut by Durer, (who himself had only sketches to go on). The particular individual featured here was the gift of a Sultan, taken from India in January 1515 and arriving in Lisbon in May. People were astounded to see this animal - hitherto the only existing reports were in the accounts of the ancients such as Pliny. None had been seen in Europe for over 1000 years. Confirming Plinys account was a vital validation of the texts from antiquity for renaissance scholars. The king of Portugal sent the rhino on to the Pope but it drowned, chained to the deck, in a shipwreck off Italy - hence the rather fanciful drawing of Durer and Gesner who never actually saw it. This image remained an icon for for centuries

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6344503

© PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

16th Century Animalium Bestiary Colour Conrad Durer Early Exotic Fantasy Folk Lore Gesner Gessner Historiae Icones Middle Ages Myth Natural History Pliny Renaissance Rhino Rhinoceros Wood Cut


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Arts > Art Movements > Renaissance Art

> Asia > India > Related Images

> Europe > Italy > Related Images

> Europe > Portugal > Lisbon

> Europe > Portugal > Posters

> Europe > Portugal > Related Images

> Europe > Related Images

> Historic > Renaissance art > Italian Renaissance art

> Historic > Renaissance art

> Italian renaissance art


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases the iconic 1551 Gesner armoured rhino, a reproduction of Albrecht Durer's renowned woodcut from 1515. The original image was based solely on sketches as Durer himself had never laid eyes on this majestic creature. Gifted by a Sultan, this particular rhino was brought from India to Lisbon in early 1515, leaving people awe-struck since its existence had only been documented in ancient texts like Pliny's accounts. For Renaissance scholars, confirming Pliny's description through visual evidence became crucial in validating ancient texts. Sadly, the king of Portugal sent the rhino as a gift to the Pope but tragedy struck when it met an untimely demise chained to a shipwreck off Italy. Despite never having seen the animal firsthand, both Durer and Conrad Gesner faithfully reproduced their own interpretations of it in their respective works. Throughout centuries, this image has remained an emblematic representation of fantasy and natural history. It captures the essence of exoticism prevalent during the 16th century while also embodying elements of mythology and folklore. This vibrant illustration holds significant historical value within its intricate woodcut design and serves as a testament to humanity's fascination with animals throughout time. Photographed by Paul D. Stewart for Science Photo Library, this print offers viewers a glimpse into not just artistry but also medieval bestiaries and middle age iconography associated with creatures like rhinoceroses. Its vivid colors bring life to an otherwise distant past while inviting contemplation on how our understanding of nature has evolved over centuries.

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