The Rhinoceros

A work made of woodcut in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of woodcut in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1515

Artist:

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471-1528

About this artwork

Albrecht Dürer never saw a rhinoceros in real life. Although the letterpress text atop this broadsheet suggests otherwise, he in fact copied the woodcut from a drawing and a description given by an eyewitness before the ship carrying this gift for the king of Portugal sank on the way from India. Nonetheless, despite the lack of direct observation, the resulting image was immensely popular and formed many people’s ideas of the animal’s appearance. As with religious images from this period, the replication of print gave this woodcut its own type of truth.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Albrecht Dürer

Title

The Rhinoceros

Origin

Germany

Date

1515

Medium

Woodcut in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

215 x 300 mm (image); 248 x 305 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Potter Palmer

Reference Number

1939.247

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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