Sunday, February 16, 2014

Artist's Sunday #3: the Unicorn

Artist's Sunday is your Artful White Fox's day to pay it forward, showcasing other artists' work that catches my eye.

After my snarky comments about unicorns on the last Artist's Sunday about Persephone, I decided these lovely creatures needed a little more attention. After all, they've captured the imaginations of fantasy enthusiasts for generations. Maybe I should turn my nose down and remember how I felt, reading those dozen library books over a summer as a kid...

Unicorns have inspired literature and myths, arts and crafts, movies, plays, and even dances, since their inception as a mythical beast. The "official" Wikipedia entry says that unicorns have been around since "antiquity" which in this estimation means since the Classical Age, although some translations have rendered a word from the Bible, re'em, as unicorn. Interesting. Unicorns in the Bible? This bears more investigation.


Also of note is the fact that they were not a mythological beast to the Greeks. The mentions of Unicorns in Grecian writings are in their natural histories, rendering Unicorns as more of a cryptid than a mythical beast. Grecian experts on natural history were convinced the Unicorn existed in the wilds of distant and exotic India. Popular modern theory is that the Grecian writers were describing the Rhinoceros and the Oryx.

Back to the topic at hand, however. Unicorns are typically described as horselike or goatlike, with a single long horn and cloven hooves, and sometimes a goat's beard. They were extremely wild, free creatures, the epitome of purity and grace, and could only be tamed by the touch of a virgin. Its horn was believed to have the power to cleanse water of poisons. In medieval times they represented lovers, chaste love, faithful marriage, and even the relationship between the Virgin Mary and Christ. (Does that make Christ or the Virgin Mary the Unicorn? ;) )

*ahem* Anyway. You're here for the art, not my exposition on the literary history of the Unicorn.

Well, there you have it, boys and girls. It might be a little late (usually I write the draft the night before and schedule it to post early Sunday morning), but I made it. I love doing Artist's Sunday; I find so many new artisans to love, and I love sharing their work with you. <3

Live, Love, and Make Art
-your Artful White Fox

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