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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Foreshades of Grey (6)

Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

or, The Royal Stag

The king’s promiscuity was an affair of state. It made government vulnerable to abuse from the wrong kind of woman pushed on him by a court faction, with domestic or foreign policy agendas, a scenario as familiar to modern republics as autocracies of any time. He was very lucky to find the rational, loyal and responsible Madame de Pompadour, or rather, that she introduced herself to him.

louis XV

Nattier, Portrait of Louis XV of France, 1745. Oil on canvas The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
He was known as the handsomest man at Versailles; he was also the most libidinous and depressed. Here, portrayed in the year he moved his new mistress Madame d’Étioles, into Versailles, he looks disconcertingly like a chubby Dan Stevens, but Ryan Gosling would be better casting to convey his enigmatic emotional isolation.

He needed but was not obsessed with sex; he spent far…

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6 Stunning First World War Artworks by Women War Artists | Imperial War Museums

Originally posted on Imperial War Museums

The first British official war artists’ scheme was set up by the government in 1916. Although it was initially started for propaganda purposes, it evolved into a memorialising scheme that commissioned a range of significant artists who explored every aspect of the conflict.

Although several female artists were approached either by the British War Memorials Committee or the Ministry of Information, none of them completed commissions for the official schemes.

However, the Imperial War Museum did commission ten female artists through its Women’s Work Sub-Committee, which had been set up to record the varied contributions of women to the war effort. Works by two other female artists were purchased for the museum’s collection by Sir Muirhead Bone, the first official artist of the war and a significant supporter of the careers of younger artists.

The drawings and paintings shown below are the work of six women who…

Read more: 6 Stunning First World War Artworks by Women War Artists | Imperial War Museums.