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Dürer's Rhinoceros

Dürer's Rhinoceros is the name given to a woodcut executed by German painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer in 1515. The image is based on a written description and brief sketch by an unknown artist of an Indian rhinoceros that had arrived in Lisbon in 1515. Dürer never saw the actual rhinoceros, the first living example seen in Europe since Roman times. In late 1515, the King of Portugal, Manuel I, sent the animal as a gift for Pope Leo X, but it died in a shipwreck off the coast of Italy in early 1516. A live rhinoceros was not seen again in Europe until a second specimen, named Abada, arrived from India at the court of Sebastian of Portugal in 1577, being inherited by Philip II of Spain around 1580. Dürer's woodcut is not an accurate representation of a rhinoceros, he depicts an animal with hard plates that cover its body like sheets of armour, with a gorget at the throat, a solid-looking breastplate, rivets along the seams. He gives it scaly legs and saw-like rear quarters. None of these features are present in a real rhinoceros, although the Indian rhinoceros does have deep folds in its skin that can look like armor from a distance.

Despite its anatomical inaccuracies, Dürer's woodcut became popular in Europe and was copied many times in the following three centuries. It was regarded by Westerners as a true representation of a rhinoceros into the late 18th century, it was supplanted by more realistic drawings and paintings those of Clara the rhinoceros, who toured Europe in the 1740s and 1750s. It has been said of Dürer's woodcut: "probably no animal picture has exerted such a profound influence on the arts". On 20 May 1515, an Indian rhinoceros arrived in Lisbon from the Far East. In early 1514, Afonso de Albuquerque, governor of Portuguese India, sent ambassadors to Sultan Muzaffar Shah II, ruler of Cambay, to seek permission to build a fort on the island of Diu; the mission returned without an agreement, but diplomatic gifts were exchanged, including the rhinoceros. At that time, the rulers of different countries would send each other exotic animals to be kept in a menagerie; the rhinoceros was well accustomed to being kept in captivity.

Albuquerque decided to forward the gift, known by its Gujarati name of genda, its Indian keeper, named Ocem, to King Manuel I of Portugal. It sailed on the Nossa Senhora da Ajuda, which left Goa in January 1515; the ship, captained by Francisco Pereira Coutinho, two companion vessels, all loaded with exotic spices, sailed across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope and north through the Atlantic, stopping in Mozambique, Saint Helena and the Azores. After a fast voyage of 120 days, the rhinoceros was unloaded in Portugal, near the site where the Manueline Belém Tower was under construction; the tower was decorated with gargoyles shaped as rhinoceros heads under its corbels. A rhinoceros had not been seen in Europe since Roman times: it had become something of a mythical beast conflated in bestiaries with the "monoceros", so the arrival of a living example created a sensation. In the context of the Renaissance, it was a piece of classical antiquity, rediscovered, like a statue or an inscription.

The animal was examined by scholars and the curious, letters describing the fantastic creature were sent to correspondents throughout Europe. The earliest known image of the animal illustrates a poemetto by Florentine Giovanni Giacomo Penni, published in Rome on 13 July 1515, fewer than eight weeks after its arrival in Lisbon; the only known copy of the original published poem is held by the Institución Colombina in Seville. It was housed in King Manuel's menagerie at the Ribeira Palace in Lisbon, separate from his elephants and other large beasts at the Estaus Palace. On Trinity Sunday, 3 June, Manuel arranged a fight with a young elephant from his collection, to test the account by Pliny the Elder that the elephant and the rhinoceros are bitter enemies; the rhinoceros advanced and deliberately towards its foe. Manuel decided to give the rhinoceros as a gift to the Medici Pope Leo X; the King was keen to curry favour with the Pope, to maintain the papal grants of exclusive possession to the new lands that his naval forces had been exploring in the Far East since Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India around Africa in 1498.

The previous year, the Pope had been pleased with Manuel's gift of a white elephant from India, which the Pope had named Hanno. Together with other precious gifts of silver plate and spices, the rhinoceros, with its new collar of green velvet decorated with flowers, embarked in December 1515 for the voyage from the Tagus to Rome; the vessel passed near Marseille in early 1516. King Francis I of France was returning from Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in Provence, requested a viewing of the beast; the Portuguese vessel stopped at an island off Marseilles, where the rhinoceros disembarked to be beheld by the King on 24 January. After resuming its journey, the ship was wrecked in a sudden storm as it passed through the narrows of Porto Venere, north of La Spezia on the coast of Liguria; the rhinoceros and shackled to the deck to keep it under control, was unable to swim to safety and drowned. The carcass of the rhinoceros was recovered near Villefranche, its hide was returned to Lisbon, where it was stuffed.

Some reports say that the mounted skin was sent to Rome, arriving in February 1516, to be exhibited impagliato, although such a feat would have challenged 16th-century me

Claudia Allen

Claudia Allen is an American playwright and educator based in Chicago, Illinois. She is known for writing LGBT characters in her plays, for Hannah Free, for her association with the Victory Gardens Theater. Claudia Allen was born on October 2, 1954, grew up in Clare, Michigan, she attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in English. In 1979, Allen left Michigan for Chicago. Allen began writing, depicting the lesbian and bisexual characters she felt. 11 of Allen's 24 produced plays have lesbian bisexual main characters. Allen is "out and proud."Allen wrote throughout the 1980s without getting produced. Her works have been featured and produced around Chicago, such as her play They Even Got the Rienzi, one of only two works by women in the Great Chicago Playwrights Exposition by Victory Gardens and Body Politic theaters in 1987. In the late 80s and early 90s, Allen developed a relationship with the creative team at Victory Gardens, saw her plays produced there in number.

Allen's most produced lesbian play is Hannah Free, which premiered at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in 1992. Allen wrote the screenplay of the 2009 film, Hannah Free, starring Sharon Gless, she wrote the novelization, Hannah Free: the Novel. Allen has taught at DePaul University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Lake Forest College, Western Michigan University. Claudia Allen has collections of scripts, drafts and other documents with DePaul University Special Collections and Archives, with the Chicago Public Library. Allen is an original member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights' Ensemble, founded in 1996, she partnered with Sandy Shinner, the associate artistic director of Victory Gardens. Allen premiered many works at Victory Gardens, including I Sailed with Magellan and Fossils, Deed of Trust, The Long Awaited and Still Waters, Unspoken Prayers, Hanging Fire. Allen has won two Jeff Awards for New Works, for The Long Awaited in 1989 and for Still Waters in 1991. Allen's Jeff nominations for New Works include Winter in 1999, Xena Live Episode 2: Xena Lives!

The Musical in 2002, I Sailed With Magellan in 2007. Allen's play. Allen was named Best Playwright by Chicago in 1999. In 2000, Allen received a Trailblazer Award from Bailiwick Repertory Theatre

They Called Her Babylon

They Called Her Babylon is an album by British folk rock band Steeleye Span. The title track deals with the Siege of Lathom House in 1644, during the English Civil War, during which Charlotte Stanley, Countess of Derby, held out for four months against Parliamentarian efforts to take the house; the album, the band's 18th studio album, was released in 2004. The album is most noteworthy for the return of Maddy Prior, the band's most central member, who had departed the band in 1996. Returning with Prior was her husband, Rick Kemp, who had not performed with the band since its 12th album, although both Prior and Kemp had performed on Present--The Very Best of Steeleye Span, an album that re-recorded versions of songs from earlier albums. Gay Woods, who had replaced Prior for two albums, departed at the same time. New to the band with this album was guitarist Ken Nicol, while drummer Liam Genockey, who had played on Time, returned. Longtime violinist Peter Knight rounded out the group. Highlights of the album include'Van Diemen's Land', a song about poaching and deportation to what would be called Tasmania.

The album contains the band's shortest song a 40-second version of'Bede's Death Song', an early medieval poem attributed to the 8th century monk. In the original version of'Van Diemen's Land', the narrator is a man, but Prior reworked the lyrics to make the narrator a woman The album received mixed reviews; some critics saw it as a return to form after several less-satisfying albums, attributed the band's revival to Prior's return. Others saw the album as representing a continuing decline of the band, attributing it to the aging of the band's core members, noting that Prior's voice, while still strong and effective on songs like'Van Dieman's Land' and'Child Owlet', does not seem to have its top range any more. Maddy Prior - vocals Rick Kemp - vocals, bass Peter Knight - vocals, Octave violin, keyboards Ken Nicol - vocals, guitar Liam Genockey - drums "Van Diemen's Land", the historic name for Tasmania "Samain" named for the Samhain festival "Heir of Linne" "Bride's Farewell" "They Called Her Babylon" "Mantle of Green" "Bede's Death Song" "Diversus and Lazarus" "Si Begh Si Mohr" "Child Owlet" "What's the Life of a Man?"