Dürer's Rhinoceros is the name commonly given to a woodcut engraved
Albrecht Dürer in 1515. The image was based on a written description
and brief sketch by an unknown artist of an Indian rhinoceros that
arrived in Lisbon earlier that year. Dürer never saw the actual
rhinoceros, which was the first living example seen in Europe since
Roman times. In late 1515, the King of Portugal, Manuel I, sent the
animal as a gift for Pope Leo X, but it died in a shipwreck off the
coast of Italy in early 1516. A live rhinoceros was not seen again
Europe until a second specimen arrived from India at the court of
Phillip II in Spain in 1577. Despite its anatomical inaccuracies,
Dürer's woodcut became very popular in Europe and was copied many
times in the following three centuries. It was regarded as a true
representation of a rhinoceros into the late 18th century.
it was supplanted by more realistic drawings and paintings,
particularly paintings and engravings of Clara the rhinoceros, who
toured Europe in the 1740s and 1750s. It has been said of Dürer's
woodcut that "probably no animal picture has exerted such a profound
influence on the arts".
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Belgian Revolution: A provisional government in Brussels declared the
creation of the independent and neutral state of Belgium, in revolt
against the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Orient Express began operations.
Manuel II, the last King of Portugal, fled to the United Kingdom when
a revolution erupted in Lisbon and his palace was shelled. The
Portuguese First Republic was proclaimed the next day.
Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 1 was launched by an R-7 rocket from
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakh SSR and became the first artificial
satellite to orbit the Earth.
Russian Constitutional Crisis: Tanks bombarded the White House in
Moscow, a government building that housed the Russian parliament,
where demonstrators against President Boris Yeltsin rallied outside.
Wikiquote of the day:
A comedian does funny things. A good comedian does things funny. --