Rhinoceros

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     This rhinoceros (Mammals, folio 131 verso) is a facsimile of the famous engraving by Dürer.The king of Portugal planned to dedicate this rhinoceros named Ganda to the Pope, but the ship was wrecked on its way to Rome, which caused the death of this then-unfamiliar creature. Fortunately, an artist from Nuremberg left a sketch of Ganda in Lisbon, from which Dürer produced  the well-known engraving.  The spots observable on Ganda's skin were caused by the dermatitis it suffered when confined at the bottom of a ship throughout the ten-month voyage from India to Lisbon. Dürer's rhinoceros, with its strange spots, was to be cherished by Europeans for centuries as the only picture of the rhinoceros.

How was the image cherished?

 

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