Etching of the living elephant by  Johann H. Tischbein
Etching of the living elephant by Johann H. Tischbein In 1773 this Indian elephant was brought at the age of three to Kassel from India or Sri Lanka. At the age of nine he fell down the Auehang and died. He became well-known after his death, and Goethe received his skull as a present from the anatomist Thomas Sommerring, which explains his other moniker, the Goethe Elephant. The taxidermied elephant traveled through Kassel on a truck in 1938, and its photo was featured in every newspaper in town. It then burned in an air raid, and today its skeleton is displayed in the Ottoneum. (Illustration: Johann-Heinrich Tischbein Junior, ca. 1774. Reproduction: Ottoneum Kassel)
Goethe Elefant
Goethe Elefant (Reproduction: Ottoneum Kassel)
Drawings by Johann C. W. Waitz for J. W. Goethe, Weimar 1784.
Drawings by Johann C. W. Waitz for J. W. Goethe, Weimar 1784. (Source: Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv, Weimar/"Samuel Thomas Soemmerring in Kassel (1779-1784)" Manfred Wenzel (Editor). Reproduction: Pola Sieverding)