Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rembrandt's elephants

Rembrandt drawing shows first Aisan Elephant known to science
A Rembrandt drawing figures in a story in New Scientist today, about the search for the earliest example of an Asian Elephant known to European scientists.

It was determined that the previous presumed example was, in fact, an African elephant, and records were searched for another example of a true Asian Elephant. It turns out that the specimen in question was an elephant named Hansken, which had been sketched by Rembrandt around 1637 (presumably on being brought to the Netherlands, as was being done with other exotic animals at the time).

The article, and others based on it, refer to a Rembrandt “painting” of an elephant, but they are actually referring to a drawing (above top) now in the British Museum.

There are several Rembrandt drawings of elephants (or perhaps the same elephant) and one appears as a denizen of Eden in the lower right background of his famous etching of Adam And Eve.

[Via io9]

3 thoughts on “Rembrandt's elephants

  1. Eve of Eden

    Who Would Win in a Fight a Alligator or Elephant?
    Answer
    In a fight between an alligator and an elephant, the elephant would emerge as the winner. This is because the elephant is huge and it has an utmost mass of around 0.5 tonnes.

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