The German painter Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart (ca. 1630-1703) and some still unregistered images of the extinct dodo, Raphus cucullatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Aves, Columbiformes)

  • Dante Martins Teixeira Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Museu Nacional - Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
Keywords: Dodo, Raphus cucullatus, Columbiformes, Extinct Birds, Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart, Painting, 17th century, History of Zoology, Animals in the Art

Abstract

Extinct in the seventeenth century, the famous dodo (Raphus cucullatus) remains almost unknown, and reliable historical accounts of its biology are rare. Neither are taxidermized specimens housed in collections, with the available material limited to osteological samples and some scarce mummified remains. Such a gap would make the representations of dodos in ancient paintings, books and drawings fundamental to reconstructing the true aspect of this bird in life. Indeed, there is a clear effort to list all the images of Raphus cucullatus found in various works of art and manuscripts, a task carried out at least since the mid-nineteenth century. In this sense, it is noteworthy the discovery of four seventeenth-century pictures depicting dodos that would have escaped the scrutiny of the experts. Portraying no less than seven individuals, all these compositions are attributed to the German painter Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart (ca. 1630-1703) or his circle. Roughly speaking, the general appearance of the figured birds differs little from that observed in various works by artists such as Roelandt Savery, Jan Savery and Gilles d’Hondecoeter.

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Author Biography

Dante Martins Teixeira, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Museu Nacional - Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.

Quinta da Boa Vista, s/nº, São Cristóvão, CEP 20940-040, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.

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Published
2019-12-17
How to Cite
Teixeira, D. (2019). The German painter Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart (ca. 1630-1703) and some still unregistered images of the extinct dodo, Raphus cucullatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Aves, Columbiformes). Arquivos De Zoologia, 50(4), 191-200. Retrieved from https://www.revistas.usp.br/azmz/article/view/159603
Section
Original Article