Now you see me, now you don’t – Rhino II
This pair of paintings were inspired by a fantastic exhibition I was lucky enough to see in Amsterdam. They are a celebration of all things rhinoceros, in particular it is homage to Clara, who toured Europe in the 1700s, amazing all who saw her.
The story of Clara is sad, just as our treatment of the remaining rhinos in the wild is heart breaking.
Clara came to Rotterdam in 1741 and was immediately exhibited to the public. She had been caught as a one month old calf, after her mother was hunted and killed in India. After that day she never saw another rhino in her life. She toured Europe in a special wooden carriage built to convey her, which had at least eight horses pulling it. Until this time people’s knowledge of rhino’s depended on Durer’s famous engraving, which was rather inaccurate having been drawn from a written description rather than life.
She seems to have lost her horn while in Rome but eventually a new horn eventually grew in. She traveled to London in 1758, where she was exhibited at the Horse and Groom pub in Lambeth, with entry prices of sixpence and one shilling. This was where she died aged about 20.
Through my painting I want to celebrate this incredible creature and reignite a sense of wonder. The stylised lines hark to Durer’s engraving and the gold is part of the celebration. Clara has been given a horn, larger than most Indian rhinos, to make up for the one she lost in her lifetime and to acknowledge that the pursuit of the horn is what is driving these animals towards extinction. I have painted a pair of rhinoceros to ensure that Clara is not as lonely on canvas as she was in life.
She is painted in Indian ink on a deep edge 100cm square canvas, finished with imitation gold leaf. She is sealed, strung and ready to hang. Clara is a big girl, but I can arrange shipping anywhere in the world. If you are outside of the UK, please contact me and I will arrange a quote for shipping and insurance. Please also see her partner piece. Should you wish to buy both, a discount is possible.