Oudry's Painted Menagerie: Portraits of Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century Europe
J. Paul Getty Museum, Jun 25, 2007 - Art - 168 pages
In the 1720s and 1730s, Jean-Baptiste Oudry established himself as the preeminent painter in France of hunts, animals, still lifes, and landscapes. Oudry’s Painted Menagerie focuses on a suite of eleven life-size portraits of exotic animals from the royal menagerie at Versailles, painted by Oudry between 1739 and 1752. These paintings eventually found their way into the ducal collection in Schwerin, Germany. Among them is the magnificent portrait of Clara, an Indian rhinoceros who became a celebrity in mid-eighteenth-century Europe. Her portrait has been out of public view for more than a century, and it is presented here in its newly conserved state.