Engraving illustration of the taxidermied Versailles rhino by Nicolas Mare´chal, published by naturalist George Cuvier in 1801. Cuvier is best known for his work on comparative anatomy, but also for his studies that supported scientific racism.

In 1810 Sara Baartman was taken from South Africa to England by Hendrik Cezar and William Dunlop, where she was exhibited as an oddity. In 1814 she travelled to France, and was sold to Reaux, an animal showman. It is written that she was presented half naked in a cage, alongside a baby rhinoceros. In 1815 Cuvier asked to study her, concluding that she was a link between animals and humans. When she died later that year Cuvier dissected her body, preserving her brain and genitals which were on display at Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle and later at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris until 1974. In 2002 her remains were brought back to Hankey in South Africa, where she was buried.

The Versailles rhino: Engraving by Mare´chal in Cuvier,  La Ménagerie du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (1801)

George Cuvier bust, Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée, Paris.