Rossetti and the wombat
July 5, 2015 10:42 PM Subscribe
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (/ˈdænti ˈɡeɪbriəl rəˈzɛti/; 12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter, translator and wombat enthusiast. He celebrated it in poetry and image; others have since done so with baking.
The wombat was to become a principal obsession of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his unofficial trademark. He wrote loving poems about the creature and captured it in paint and pen. He later bought two of them for £8, and added them to his Cheyne Walk menagerie, naming one of them Top after his rival in love, William Morris. The attraction apparently lay in the sheer absurdity of the beast and its funny-sounding name. ‘The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!’ Rossetti declared, and before long his crowd of acolytes embraced the wombat cult as a badge of loyalty to their leader.
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