The Origins of the Unicorn

Mimi Matthews

The Maiden and the Unicorn by Domenichino, 1602.The Maiden and the Unicorn by Domenichino, 1602.

According to historians, the legend of the unicorn first emerged in 398 BC courtesy of the Greek physician Ctesias.  Ctesias wrote an account of India, titled Indica.  He attests that all recorded within his account are things that he has witnessed himself or that he has had related to him by credible witnesses.  This account of India, though largely lost, has been preserved in a fragmentary abstract made in the 9th century by Photios I of Constantinople.  In the twenty-fifth fragment, Ctesias writes of the unicorn, stating:

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Elizabeth Siddal: The Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel

Please ignore the link below and visit via the up-to-date link HERE as ArtLark has reposted the article.


51rEU6PieYL._SL1000_On the 11th of February 1862, Elizabeth Siddal, an English artists’ model, died in London of a self-administered overdose of laudanum. In the early 1850s, as a young woman, Siddal was painted extensively by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. She sat for Walter Deverell’s Viola in Twelfth Night (1850), for William Holman Hunt’s British Girl inA Converted British Family Rescuing a Christian Priest from Persecution by the Druids (1851), for John Everett Millais’sOphelia(1852) – for which she posed floating in a bathtub full of water, and for Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Beatrice, the Virgin Mary, St Catherine, and many others. Rossetti became eventually her husband, and even though Siddal did pursue her own artistic career under the financial patronage of John Ruskin, it was Rossetti who became the eventual medium to Siddal’s posthumous legendary status. In fact, “[in] her lifetime, she had virtually no public identity, and in the…

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