An etching by Rembrandt van Rijn, “Adam and Eve” (click on the left picture to see an enlarged version), has been stolen from an art gallery in Chicago. The suspected thieves are a couple who had briefly entered the gallery and left it, taken the etching with them. The etching dates from 1638 and is worth around 60’000 US$.
In some news articles the stolen print is labeled as “an engraving”, which is not correct. It is an etching. When you have a closer look at the full size version (click on the small picture above), you will discover a nice detail in the background: a small elephant. It is Hansken (1630-1655), an elephant which was shown across Europe in the 17th century.
Rembrandt van Rijn: Hansken (drawing, 1637)
An anonymous copper engraving from the 17th century shows Hansken’s manifold skills, which may also have impressed Rembrandt to include her (Hansken was a lady elephant) in a scene from the Bible.