This rare print shows an elephant looking angry with an armoured man on his back, wearing a sword and a whip. With his trunk the elephant takes bread from a basket.
Made by Matthias Merian after Jonston.
Medium: Etching / engraving on hand laid (verge) paper.
Sheet size: 21.5 x 33.5 cm (8.46 x 13.19 inch). Image size: 18 x 29.5 cm. (7.09 x 11.61 inch).
Condition: good, given age. Some soiling of margins with a few small tears in paper edges. General age-related toning and/or occasional minor defects from handling. Please study scan carefully.
ANIMAL-ELEPHANT-MAN ON HIS BACK-SWORD-WHIP-CARRYING BREAD | RBOS-A8-17
This rare antique engraving originates from: ‘Historiae Naturalis. De Quadrupetibus Libri I.’ (Volume 1 of Historiae Naturalis.) by John Johnston, published in Frankfurt by Matthias Merian in 1657.
Biography engraver: John Johnston (or Johnstone, 1603-1675) was a descendant of a Scottish family. Born in Sambter, Poland, he studied extensively at the famous universities of the day, including St. Andrews, Scotland, Cambridge & Leiden. After many years traveling in Europe, he settled in Silesia. Matthaus Merian was a leading German engraver of the day, from a prominent family of engravers and artists, and the father of Maria Sybilla Merian.