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1853 Possible first Gorilla Illustration

1853 Possible first Gorilla Illustration

C011/0962

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gorilla, Pithecus, contemporary coloured copperplate engraving from "Das Buch der Welt" John Weik, Stuttgart. The lowland Gorilla was first accurately described outside Africa by the missionary Dr. Savage in 1847 from accounts of native tribes' people near the Gaboon river. This picture, which appears to be the first of a 'living' gorilla, portrays a peaceful family group. Paul Du Chaillu's images in 1861 or Geoffrey Saint Hilaires image 1858 are often cited as the first gorilla illustrations and are more sensational and aggressive, setting the tone for the gorilla's later reputation. The orangutan-like orange tinge to the Gorilla here may be a confusion from preservation. These were drawn from a preserved adult and young specimen received by the Paris Natural History Museum in 1852. The young was caught alive in Gabon and kept on ship with a chimp until both died.

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Model release not required. Property release not required.

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