Zarafa and La Rochelle

Giraffomania

Zarafa and La Rochelle

Preserved in the Graphic Arts Department of the Louvre Museum, this drawing by the painter Théodore Chassériau, entitled “Turk holding a giraffe by a rope, another Turk behind”, bearing the words “La Girafe qui fait courir tout Paris” (The giraffe that makes all Paris run) and “September 1827”, opened a link that would close again in 1931.

Indeed, Chassériau’s father was from La Rochelle and it is in La Rochelle that the first giraffe in France would settle back in 1931 to remain there forever!

Olivier LEBLEU

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