Mozart &
Material Culture


George Stubbs, Zebra, 1763 (Yale Center for British Art)

George Stubbs, Zebra, 1763 (Yale Center for British Art)

Nannerl Mozart’s travel diary, London, 1765:

  1. In London I saw the park and a young elephant, and a donkey that had white and coffee-brown stripes that were so clear that no one could paint them better.

The zebra painted by Stubbs, and seen by the Mozarts, was ‘the first zebra to be seen in England. It was brought from South Africa in 1762 by Sir Thomas Adams, the commanding officer of H.M.S. Terpsichore, as a gift from the governor for young Queen Charlotte. Two live specimens were dispatched from the Cape of Good Hope . . . but only the female survived the voyage. As soon as she reached London, the zebra was installed in the menagerie’.[1] 

The elephant that the Mozarts saw was presented to George III in 1763.[2] 


[2] See Templeton 2016, 145-146.