Feeling the sting of melancholy, Albrecht Dürer went in search of a whale beached in Zeeland (Netherlands). But he couldn’t see her. The whale was brought back into the sea before Dürer appeared, and then he was unable, or unwilling, to paint the whale by hearsay, as they say when he heard the story of an Indian unicorn whose character remained engraved for stills in sentimental memory. From art history.
Dürer’s famous rhinoceros appears to have been christened with the name Ganda for being that way, Ganda, as it is called in Gujarati, a language of western India, where the animal originated, which was one day delivered to the Portuguese ambassador to India as a gift from the Sultan of Cambay. And since the diplomat did not know what to do with the unicorn, he sent it to the king of Portugal. For this, they embarked him on caravels. The voyage took two months until Ganda reached the port of Lisbon, where he was described by a person close to Dürer; A report that combined the fantasy of beasts and beasts in the Middle Ages with the scientific accuracy of the new age that was opening up to the eyes of Europe.
In the same way, Dürer notices the whale stranded on the coast of Zeeland, knowing that it is a sea animal preceded by the fascinating reading that indicates the forms the devil takes when he hides and wants to play, turning into an island that could be the entrance to Hell.
Through fables and incantations, Dürer prepares to take notes on the nature of a whale stranded on Zeeland. “Alberto called me,” may be the beginning of this story that Philip Hore tells us in his book Alberto and the whale (Bookshop 2021), a work in which marine biology intersects with the world of art and mythology.
Without losing the thread of memory, Hoare takes us to a Europe that opens up to the Atlantic Ocean, that leaves the Middle Ages behind and that paves the way for an embrace of reason and its mechanical pulsation where the Enlightenment will enlighten such figures as Baron Dupuytren, a surgeon famous for feeling the delicate wounds that cut and heal fibrosis in the palm of the hand, and he A disease that will bear its name – Dupuytren’s contracture – due to which one or more fingers cannot be fully stretched.
The scientific voyage that Hoare proposes crosses seas and oceans, cities threatened by plague and seals, and the skins of whales and rhinos as if they were shields. With this book, Hoare drags us to the other side of the abyss, as Ganda faces off against an Indian elephant in the amphitheatre, just as if it were a gladiator. But we are not in Rome. We are in Lisbon, where King Manuel I entertains himself with these things until he becomes bored and orders the unicorn up; This time as a Christmas gift to Pope Leo X.
Navigating the waters of the Gulf of La Spezia, the rhinoceros became so angry that it unleashed all its fury, causing the boat to capsize. Ganda tried to reach the coast, but sank before Dürer could admire him. Yet the German painter would resurrect it for the remains in an engraving that pushed the boundaries of art history.
Failed to repeat luck with Pisces. gloom And his whole life was dominated by his star, Saturn, an ailment from which Dürer always suffered. In 1503 he suffered from inflammation of the spleen. He sent his doctor a drawing of where he appeared, indicating the cause of his discomfort. Science has yet to combine with literature to explain that the spleen is where depression originates. Indeed, in English it is said spleen spleen And this same word, translated into French by Baudelaire, is known as sadness.
In search of the tension between science and literature, Philipp Hauer finds that Dürer imagines the world and prepares to tell us a story in the same way that Dupuytren told them in his patients’ ears before each operation.
stone axe; It is a section in which Monteiro Glaze, with a desire for prose, imposes his own siege on scientific reality to show that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.