New Nature Talks at the Museum!
By Catherine Polcz (Natural Resource Sciences, Macdonald College, McGill)
In this talk, the first of the New Nature series, Catherine Polcz will explore the curious story and cultural meaning of Dürer's rhinocerus, a 1515 woodblock print made by the German artist Albrecht Dürer. Given as a gift to the Portugeuse king Manuel I, the rendered rhinocerus was the first seen in Europe since Roman times. Despite the animal's short life and tragic death, the rhinocerus quickly became an emblem of both Roman antiquity and an expanding world.
Together we will ask how the woodcut print can act as an artifact of a 16th century European understanding of nature, and whether this can assist us in understanding our own contemporary conceptualization of nature.