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A Sensational and Sentimental Rhino, Part 1

In the 1740s Clara the rhinoceros sailed from India into the Age of Reason. She arrived in a political world that would soon declare that "all men are created equal" without abolishing slavery or stepping back from the colonizing of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The West was redefining what it meant to be a human, an individual, and a self in this period. But what, then, did it mean to be an animal in Enlightenment Europe? The images and objects collected in Oudry's Painted Menagerie tell part of that story...

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