Study of the Giraffe Given to Charles X by the Viceroy of Egypt

Nicolas Huet the Younger1827

The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum

As a specialist in depicting animals, Nicolas Hüet, the son of
Jean-Baptiste, was the official painter for the Musée d'Histoire
Naturelle de la Ménagerie, Paris. He must have been one of the first to
paint the celebrated giraffe, the belle enfant des tropiques, the
first ever to be seen in France. The viceroy of Egypt presented the
giraffe to Charles X in 1827. Installed at the Jardin des Plantes, it
was seen by over 600,000 visitors in the first six months alone. Hüet's
exquisitely worked portrait shows the giraffe in its new home with the
groom who came with it and cared for it for the next eighteen years.

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