A special temporary exhibition from the Royal Pavilion in Brighton gives us a reflective insight into how animals, thought to be exotic, were depicted, kept and presented by the Georgians. Journey through paintings, ceramics and prints featuring the animals owned by the Royal Family and in menageries between 1740 - 1850. The painting below of liger cubs (cross between Tiger and Lion) born at Winsor in 1824 is being displayed to the public for the first time.
“An insight into how animals, thought to be exotic, were depicted, kept and presented by the Georgians”
Discover the story of the first giraffe to live in the UK, gifted to George IV by the Pasha of Egypt in 1826. George IV was considered exotic and unpredictable by many, giving ostriches as presents to mistresses and keeping kangaroos and other exotic animals in his private menagerie in Windsor Park.
"George IV was considered exotic and unpredictable by many, giving ostriches as presents to mistresses"
The display looks at how these exotic animals influenced the fashion and decorative arts in Georgian Britain, when giraffe-patterned wallpaper was in vogue (isn't it always?!). The collection shows the challenges artists faced when depicting these newly-arrived creatures in their artworks but also a darker insight into the lives of these animals. This was a time when scientific research and animal entertainment was new and exciting. Luckily the later Georgian period saw a change in attitudes as to how and why animals were kept, which led to the formation of the Zoology Society of London and the establishment of what is now London Zoo. A pleasant reminder of how far we've come when it comes to animal welfare.
14 November 2015 - 6 March 2016
Open: 10am - 5:15pm daily
Prince Regent Gallery
Brighton, BN1 1EE
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