Early Dodo Pictures

The Dodo and Discovery of this Bird

Early Dodo Pictures

Further Dodo History

Extinction of the Dodo and the Bird in Modern History

Get more interesting bird information and facts at The Wonder of Birds

Continued from The Dodo and Discovery of this Bird

Johann Theodor de Bry (born 1528 and died1598) created 2 captivating prints of the activities of the Dutch.  The Walchvogel appeared in one of these, which is the first ever published illustration of the bird.  A footnote explains that a live Dodo was brought to Holland by the travellers.   A draughtsman was amongst the company, and made a sketch from which Carolus Clusius (born 1526 and died1609) made an illustration. Clusius gave quite a detalled description but called the Dodo "Gallinaceus Gallus peregrinus".  In the meantime, 2 more Dutch fleets had travelled to Mauritius, one of which had a draughtsman aboard, whose original sketches still existed in a library at Utrecht until at least the late 19th or early 20th Century. I am unaware whether they are still there, but three or four of those sketches represent the Dodo.  On the death of Professor Schlegel, who announced his intention of publishing these sketches in facsimile, his collection of drawings of the Dodo and other extinct birds of Mauritius (see EXTERMINATION), which included tracings by him of these curious and interesting sketches, came into the possession of 19th Century ornithologist Alfred Newton, and one of them is reproduced here.

Dodo Picture
From a tracing by Professor Schlegel of the origiual drawing in a MS journal kept during Wolphart Harmanszoon's voyage to Mauritius (A.D. 1601-1602)

A diary, which was kept by one of the captains of the other fleet, was published which  confirmed the details already gained by other voyages. In addition it mentioned that the Dodo was now called Dodaarsen by some, and alternatively known as Dronten by others.   Professor Schlegel later indicated that Dodaarsen was a name also used by the Dutch for the Little Grebe or Dabchick, a bird which the Dodo reminded them of by the Dodo's rounded rear and small tuft of a tail.  It was suggested by a Dr. Jentink in the 19th Century that, Dronten, which has been naturalized in France as Dronte, may be from the obsolete Dutch verb dronten (cognate with drenten aud drinten), to be swollen (cfi Verwijs and Verdam, Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, ii. col. 435), and would indicate the Dodo's figure as represented by some draughtsmen, and as described by Sir Thomas Herbert (born 1606 and died1682).

The aforementioned Clusius stated that he saw at Pauw's House in Leyden in 1605 the foot of a Dodo which he described in great detail.   A number of  paintings of Dodos were made by the Flemish Artist Roelandt Savery (born at Courtenay in 1576 and died in 1682).  At least those painted by him dated 1626 at Berlin, and 1628 at Vienna are believed to have been painted with living Dodos as the subject.  Similarly, a picture made by Goiemare dated 1627 is thought to be of a captive live Dodo.

A painting of a Dodo by Dutch Court artist and Engraver Joris Hoefnagel, also known as Georg Hoefnagel (born around 1545 and died 1601),  is believed to be dated even earlier than Savery's paintings of the bird.  During his time in the service of the eccentric and reclusive Emperor Rudolf II of (1552-1612), Hoefnagel painted numerous pictures of the emperor's animals which were kept in a menagerie at  the Emperor's Schloss Neugebau near Viena, or at the Schloss Ebersdorf.  One of these is a painting of a Dodo and is virtually certain to had been painted before 1626 (the majority of Hoefnagel's paintings for the Emperor having been done between 1602 and 1610).  It is thought that the part of the head of a Dodo which was found around 1850 in a the Museum at Prague had been part of the Emperor Rudold II's menagerie.

A large, undated picture having once belonged to Sir Hans Sloane which was by an unknown painter and which was given to the British Museum,  is believed to be by Roelandt Savery.  Jan Savery, Roelandt Savery's nephew,  is thought to have painted an even larger picture dated 1651 which is held at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

An off-white colored Dodo with yellow wings was pictured by Pieter Holsteyn (born around 1585 and died around).  Unfortunately this was yet another picture with no date, but it probably painted around 1638.  It is likely not to have been painted from reference to a living Dodo but probably more of a caricature than a true-life painting.

Previous...The Dodo and Discovery of this Bird Next...Further Dodo History.

Home to the Wonder of Birds

This page ©TheWonderofBirds.com