Image series 43 / 2022: Rhinos

Representations from the 16th century onwards

23 October 2022 | By: Bettina Pfleging

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In Albrecht Dürer’s day, hardly anyone in Europe had seen a rhinoceros. Nevertheless, there are many graphic representations of the large, strange, exotic animal. Dürer, too, only knew of a Rhinoceros unicornis from second-hand descriptions, but with his woodcut he created the almost exclusive model for depictions of the exotic animal that was valid for over 200 years.
In the exhibition, around 40 selected prints from the 16th to 18th centuries illustrate the change from the fantastic creature to the realistically depicted mammal. Illustrated books from the library and medals from the coin cabinet expand the view to include aspects of scientific and cultural history.

„The wondrous rhinoceros. Three hundred years of prints“
July, 21st 2022 to July, 26st 2023, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg


Albrecht Dürer. Næsehornet | Dessein du Rhinocéros | The rhinoceros, Ausschnitt, 1515, Træsnit, muligvis opklæbet på kraftigere papir, bladmaal: 21 cm x 29,9 cm, Copenhagen; Statens Museum for Kunst


Enea Vico. Neushoorn – Neushoorn | Rhinocerus, Ausschnitt, 1542, paperengraving, 26,5 × 36,4 cm. Amsterdam; Rijksmuseum Collection, Amsterdam


Antonio Tempesta. Neushoorn – Neushoorn | Rinocerons/ Rinoceronte | Dieren en fabelwezens | Nova raccolta de li animali piu curiosi del mondo, Ausschnitt, 1650, paperetching, 9,5 × 13,7 cm, Amsterdam; Rijksmuseum Collection, Amsterdam


Athanasius Kircher. Giorgio de Sepi, Romani Collegii Societatis Jesu Musaeum Celeberrimum, Amsterdam 1678, S. 30, Detail, Illustration (Nashorn), Ausschnitt, 1678, Berlin; Imago, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte


Wahre Abbildung von einem lebendigen Rhinoceros oder Nashorn, welches nach vieler Meinung der Behemoth sein soll, wovon Hiob am 40. Cap[itel] gedacht wird, Ausschnitt, um 1749, Erlangen-Nürnberg; Einblattdrucke, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Alessandro Longhi. The Rhinoceros, Clara, in the foreground, her keeper holding her horn and a whip behind her at center with various other spectators in Carnival masks, Ausschnitt, after ca. 1751, Etching, 41.4 × 51.5 cm, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art


Johann Elias Ridinger. Nashorn, Ausschnitt, 1768, 66 × 49 cm, Wien; Sammlungen Online Albertina, Albertina Wien


August Allebé. Neushoorn in het water, Ausschnitt, 1848 – 1927, paperpencilchalkpaper, 9,4 × 13,6 cm, Amsterdam; Rijksmuseum Collection, Amsterdam