Sunday, May 17, 2015

Guinea Pig History: Guinea Pig Art in Europe

We've made several posts on guinea pig history, in which we've talked about the journey of guinea pigs.

Joris Hoefnagel was a Netherlander who lived from 1542 to 1601. He was born to wealthy merchant parents, and traveled around Europe with them in his youth, drawing his experiences. While working in Munich, he was commissioned to produce a four-volume book on natural history. The book is known as the Four Elements, and each volume is named after a different element: Animalia rationalia et insecta (ignis); Animalia quadrupedia et reptilia (terra) ; Animalia aquatilia et conchiliata (aqua); and Animalia volatilia et amphibia (aier). Guinea pigs appeared in the earth (terra) volume (right next to porcupines):

Don't let those porcupines poke you, guinea pig! [Caption reads: "Plate 48 of the Animalia Qvadrvpedia et Reptilia (Terra) from 1592 by Hoefnagel (copyright National Gallery of Art Washington)" (source)]
If I was that guinea pig, I would jump down from that branch and eat that melon!

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