Clara, Rhino, Superstar and Wonders of the Grand Tour

by Clive Lockhart

Thursday 16 May 2019

Porttait of Clara in Paris, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, 1749

Brought up as a house pet from a young age by a Director of the Dutch East India Company in India, Clara was shipped to Holland in 1741 and spent nearly 20 years touring Europe as one of the wonders of the age. She visited all the major Courts of Europe including to King Louis XV of France eventually dying in a pub in the east end of London in 1758.  She was recorded in paintings, prints, porcelain, bronze, clocks and even hair styles. This talk explores the charming story of this magnificent beast, only the fifth rhino to be seen in Europe, through contemporary records and works of art.

Example of the mass-produced souvenir pictures of Clara sold by Douwe Mout van der Meer; this example from her stay at the Gasthof "Zum Pfau" in Mannheim in November 1747.

 

Clive Lockhart

 

Clive Lockhart studied on the Sotheby's Works of Art course and has been working in the fine art world for 40 years. Managing Director of Woolley and Wallis, the UK's leading regional auctioneers, in Salisbury, and has been a specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow for over 20 years. Has also lectured on cruise ships as well as for many other groups, and recently published a major article in the Journal of the Decorative Arts Society on Betty Joel.

Clara, Pietro Longhi, 1751

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