LONGHI, Pietro
(b. 1702, Venezia, d. 1785, Venezia)

The Rhinoceros

Oil on canvas, 62 x 50 cm
Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Ca' Rezzonico, Venice

The painting contains a notice that accurately dates the episode in question. In fact, when the exotic animal went on show it became an instant attraction that was talked about across Europe. Longhi's image not only captures the size of the rhinoceros, but also recreates the atmosphere of excitement among the public whose curiosity had drawn them to this fairground attraction.