Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rhinoceros


Rhinoceros on a panel of the doors, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), Pisa
Rhinoceros on a panel of the bronze west doors of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles)
Pisa, January 2013

(dedicated to tapirgal)

See also: Piazza dei Miracoli - Leaning Tower - Santa Maria Assunta - Cathedral's Pulpit - Battistero di San Giovanni - La Fontana dei Putti

“Nuremberg, where Dürer lived, was a great commercial centre and home to the earliest printing shops and publishers. By 1515, when he made this print, Dürer himself was the master printmaker of the age, and so he was ideally placed to convert his rhino into a highly profitable print. Using wood-block allowed him to print around four to five thousand copies of this image during his lifetime, and nobody knows how many millions have sold in other forms since. This image stuck. In works of natural history, above all, Dürer's rhino turned out to be unshiftable, even when more accurate depictions of the animal were available. In the seventeenth century, copies of this print could be seen on the doors of Pisa Cathedral and in a church fresco in Colombia in South America. It's appeared on ceramics everywhere from Meissen to Liverpool, and it's now a popular T-shirt and a fridge magnet.”
(Dürer's Rhinoceros, A History of the World, BBC)

2 comments:

cieldequimper said...

That's amazing.

tapirgal said...

VP, I was (almost?) as thrilled to see this rhino on Daily Photo Stream today as I was to find it one evening near dusk in Pisa. I'm glad to note that it's still "my rhino," even though it appears on millions of souvenirs :-) What an iconic work of art, and who can explain it? That evening still haunts me - in a good way, of course. Long live Dürer and these remarkable doors. Thank you for the photo and dedication!