About this artwork
Martin Schongauer may have engraved his fantastical Griffin and his Elephant as a pair, given their similar scale. Although he may have had the opportunity to see a real elephant in 1483, this depiction is clearly inaccurate by modern standards. Nonetheless, by the mid-16th century, his print became the basis for scientific illustration in Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner’s 1551 book on animals. The two prints may also relate to Schongauer’s series of coats of arms with fanciful animals decorating their shields.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Martin Schongauer
- The Elephant
- Engraving on ivory laid paper
- 102 × 128 (image); 102 × 130 mm (sheet)
- Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.