A painting of a pixelised close-up of the eye of Clara, the Dutch rhino, taken from Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s 1749 painting. Douwe Mout van der Meer brought Clara, the Indian rhinoceros, to Rotterdam in 1741. She died in 1758 in London after touring most European centres. Oudry’s painting was the largest ever painted of the rhino and at 10 x 15 ft presented his audience with the ultimate moment in Enlightenment empiricism. The enormous work attended in detail to physiology, mass, and accurate texture, and presented the animal as alert and sensitive. The eye seems to capture the anxiety and fear of the travelling rhinoceros.

Oudry’s Painted Menagerie: Portraits of Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century Europe. 2007. Mary Morton (editor) http://www.getty.edu/publications/virtuallibrary/9780892368891.html

Restoration of the work was completed in 2007