Clara, 2016

In 1740 Douwe Jansz Mout van der Meer, captain of the VOC ship Knappenhof, became the owner of Clara, an Indian rhinoceros. He transported her to the Netherlands, left his post at the VOC and started a European tour in which he accompanied the animal. King Louis XV offered 100,000 écu to purchase her, but this offer was too low according to Mout van der Meer. Her arrival in the port of Rotterdam, July 22nd 1741 and the successive travels through Europe became a source of inspiration for scientist and artists (‘Op reis met Clara’, Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam). Bricks were often used as a load for empty VOC-vessels for their trip to the East.

Rossella Biscotti, Clara, 2016
(60 pounds of straw, 40 pounds of bread, 14 buckets of water)
Installation with custom made bricks, tobacco, pallets and wall text in vinyl photo: Peter Cox, courtesy Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven
Rossella Biscotti, Clara, 2016
(60 pounds of straw, 40 pounds of bread, 14 buckets of water)
Installation with custom made bricks, tobacco, pallets and wall text in vinyl photo: Peter Cox, courtesy Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven
Rossella Biscotti, Clara, 2016
(60 pounds of straw, 40 pounds of bread, 14 buckets of water)
Installation with custom made bricks, tobacco, pallets and wall text in vinyl photo: Peter Cox, courtesy Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven
Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Clara the rhinoceros in Paris in 1749
Oil on canvas, 306 x 453 cm
Courtesy Staatliches Museum Schwerin