Rhinocerus is a woodcut representing the first Indian Rhino to arrive in Europe. It landed in Lisbon in the year 1515 sent by King D. Manuel of Portugal.
Albrecht Durer, a famous german artist and naturalist illustrator, draw it based on the oral description of the rhinoceros.
Durer became very famous and so did this image. Durer’s Rhino was “copied” by many artists among them is David Kandel. The original by Durer is at the British Museum in London.
Due to the disappearing of its habitat – alluvial grassland and riverine forest – because of agricultural expansion and the excessive hunting the Indian rhino is an endangered species.
We created the Rhinocerus Collection to celebrate Art, Durer and Rhino.
Durer’s relationship with the Portuguese.
Rhinocerus was the first work connecting him with Portugal.
In 1520 and 1521 Durer visited the Netherlands and kept a detailed diary of it’s relationship with the Portuguese.
He was fascinated by the exotic products like rhinos, coconuts, wine, corals, parrots, brought by the Portuguese during the Discoveries.
On August 1520, as soon as he arrived in Antwerp, he visited the Portuguese João Brandão (director of the trading post) and portrayed him.
He establishes a more personal relationship with Rui Fernades de Almada, the secretary of the trading post.
In his diary Durer describes Fernandes de Almada as a man of great humanism and talent. He writes that on May the 16th of 1521 offers the Portuguese a Saint Jerome painting.
Shortly afterwards, he draws a drawing of Rui Fernandes de Almada, who is in the Albertina museum in Viena, and another drawn picture, the Black Catherine, who is now in the Uffizi in Florence.
To the successor of João Brandão, Francisco Pessoa, Durer offers a Veronica and multiple drawings.
The Portuguese returned offering him wine spices and living animals.