The first painting of a Javan rhinoceros in Europe
Contributions to Zoology , Volume 67 - Issue 2 p. 151- 154
The Dutch painter Philips Angel (1616-1683) was born in Middelburg, the Netherlands, worked some time in Haarlem, but spent most of his time in his native city (Bol, 1949). He made a water-colour of the Javan one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest, 1822). Since the painting is so lifelike, it appears to have been drawn from a living specimen. Therefore, it could represent the first specimen of this rare species that ever reached Europe alive. The water-colour, now in a private collection, is signed but not dated by the painter. The painting must have been made between the years 1630, around which time the career of Angel began, and 1658, when a woodcut of the water-colour was printed. The water-colour was published by Müllenmeister (1978), but until now there has been no reference to it in the zoological literature dealing with the rhinoceroses in Europe. Nothing could be found in archives in the Netherlands concerning the origin and ultimate fate of that specimen of rhino.
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Dittrich, L. (1997). The first painting of a Javan rhinoceros in Europe. Contributions to Zoology, 67(2), 151–154.