Miss Clara and the Celebrity Beast in Art, 1500-1860Regular price £16.50
'Visually rich and thought-provoking catalogue' - The Art Newspaper
The fascinating story of the rhinoceros Miss Clara, the most famous animal of the eighteenth century
'Miss Clara' arrived in Europe from the Dutch East Indies in 1741, brought by a retired Dutch East India Company captain, Douwe Mout van der Meer, who then toured her round Europe (including England) to huge acclaim and excitement. Jungfer Clara (so christened while visiting Wurzburg in 1748) was the first rhino to be seen on mainland Europe since 1579 and the object of great wonder and affection. Her fame generated a massive industry in souvenirs and imagery from life-scale paintings by major masters to cheap popular prints; there were even Clara-inspired clocks and hairstyles.
Miss Clara and the Celebrity Beast in Art takes the Barber Institute’s popular exhibit, a bronze sculpture (around 1770) after Peter Anton von Verschaffelt, as the starting point for a broader exploration of how Clara and other “fabulous” exotic beasts—particularly elephants and hippopotami—were brought to Europe for entertainment and study. Three in-depth essays by the exhibition curator Robert Wenley (Clara and other celebrity beasts), Charles Avery (representations of elephants from the renaissance to the baroque) and Samuel Shaw (exotic animals in 19th-century private menageries and public zoos) are followed by catalogue entries for exhibits covering a wide range of object-types and media.
- Author: Robert Wenley, Deputy Director of the Barber Institute
- Paperback: 96 pages | 65 illustrations
- Date published: November 2021
- Language: English
- Delivery: Allow 1-2 weeks
- ISBN: 9781913645021
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 21 cm