Venezia header - Riva degli Schiavoni

Il Rinoceronte Clara

During the 1751 Carnival, a rhinoceros that was being taken around Europe to be shown as a big attraction (no TV back then ...), was taken to Venice to be shown to the crowds.

Here's Clara's trip since 1741: Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy and finally Venice.
By the end of the year Clara was in England, then Poland, Tchecoslovackia, Denmark and finally passed out in London in 1758, with 20 years of age.

Pietro Longhi, the famous Venitian painter of that time was asked to make two paintings to commemorate the event.

On the side, Longhi's son, Alessandro, also wrote a little playful mocking rhyme about Clara:

"Il gran rinoceronte qui si vede
Dall’Affrica condotto in sto contorno
E della belva smisurata in fede
Del suo naso cornuto eccovi il corno."

"The great rhinoceros you see here,
Taken from Africa to this place
And of the big beast, to be true to you
From his horned nose, we show here the horn."

 

 

 

 
Painting by Pietro Longhi: "Il Rinoceronte" - (1751)
Pietro Longhi: "Il Rinoceronte" - (1751)
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