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Sri Lankan elephant Hansken
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Author:  Dr. Michiel Roscam Abbing [ Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Sri Lankan elephant Hansken

Dear madam, dear sir,

Could you contact me to the writer of the "Adventures of a Sri Lankan elephant in Rome", S. Dhammia @ The Island? I have written a book on the Sri Lankan elephant Hansken, who was in Europe between 1633 and 1655, and like to send him a copy, because it gives him new information. Thank you very much.

Dr. Michiel Roscam Abbing


A famous European artist who drew a Sri Lankan elephant was Rembrant van Rijin (1606-69). In 1637 a circus arrived in Amsterdam and among the sights on display was an elephant from Sri Lanka named Hansken [not excatly so]. Just how this elephant got to Holland is not known. [Yes it is] The Dutch did not take over the maritime provinces of Sri Eanka until 1656. Rembrant must have been impressed by the strange creature and he did a quick but masterly sketch of it in charcoal. The drawing is now in the Graphische Sammlung Albertina in Vienna.

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