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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, January 09, 2015

dante gabriel rossetti's menagerie

Dante Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite artist, rarely did anything ordinary when something extraordinary could be had, not least in the bunch of exotic pets he amassed in the years after his wife's death. I'd heard about a number of them, but not about the zebu. . .
Dante Rossetti had a collection of pets which, in its whimsical variety, can only be likened to that of the naturalist Buckland. Armadillos and wombats were included, but decidedly the most notable was the zebu. One of the artist’s biographers gives an amusing account of the creature. It was an intractable subject for petting, and put an end to all attempts in that direction by one day tearing up by the roots the little tree to which it was tethered. and chasing its owner all round the garden. After this exploit, it was given away; Mr. Knight says that Rossetti. when discussing his pets, past and present, was not much given to talk of the zebu.
- from Lewis, Eleanor, Famous Pets of Famous People. Boston: D. Lothrop Company, 1892, pp. 164-7.

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