Friday, April 04, 2014

Animal crackers

Here’s a great example of the imagination at work. These illustrations are attempts to depict the elephant based on returning travelers' accounts. From the top they are:

An elephant from the Rochester Bestiary, c. 1225-1250
An elephant by Guillaume le Clerc, 13th century
An elephant from Italy, c. 1440
An elephant by Noè Bianco, 1568

You can see more hopeful renditions of animals here on ‘Welcome to the future’ in a piece rather literally titled How Europeans imagined exotic animals centuries ago based on hearsay.