This beautiful volume--published to coincide with an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum to be held from May 1 to September 2, 2007--is the first to focus on the series of life-size portraits painted by the eighteenth-century artist Jean-Baptiste Oudry of the animals in Louis XV's royal menagerie at Versailles. A tiger, a lion, a leopard, and, most impressive of all, the famous rhinoceros known as Clara joined a group of other exotic animals in Oudry's "painted menagerie," which was purchased in 1750 by his German patron, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
The book's insightful essays situate this suite of paintings within the context of Oudry's career; discuss Oudry's remarkable drawings of animals; and present a fascinating history of menageries and of the phenomenon known as "Claramania"--when the real rhinoceros, Clara, traveled through Europe and caused a public sensation.
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Mary Morton is associate curator of paintings at the Getty Museum. Colin Bailey is chief curator at the Frick Collection. Marina Belozerskaya is an independent scholar based in Los Angeles. Charissa Bremer-David is associate curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the Getty Museum. Christoph Frank is a professor at the Accademia di Architettura of the Università della Svizzera Italiana. Christine Giviskos is assistant curator of drawings at the Getty Museum. Mark Leonard is conservator of paintings at the Getty Museum.
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