Rhinoceros, 1548

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The original of this fantastical print, seen here in a copy by Enea Vico, was made by Albrecht Dürer in 1515. Amazingly, Dürer never saw the animal, but made his woodcut from secondhand information. In 1515 Sultan Muzafar of Cambay made a gift of an Indian rhinoceros to King Emmanuel of Portugal, who in turn shipped it to Pope Leo X. En route, however, the ship capsized, and the animal drowned. When the beast washed ashore, it was stuffed and sent on to the Vatican. Dürer's only basis for crafting a likeness was a description and sketch sent by someone in Lisbon. Yet for centuries the print represented most people's idea of what a rhinoceros looked like.

Artist Life
Accession Number
William M. Ladd, Portland, Ore.; Herschel V. Jones, Minneapolis; his gift to MIA, 1916.
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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