Not long ago, Arbiter of Style Megan was editing our soon-to-be-reprinted monograph Rossetti—as in Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite painter/poet—when she came across the following sketch, created to honor the passing of the artist’s pet wombat:
Apparently Rossetti kept many exotic beasts as pets over the course of his life, but he reserved a special place in his heart for wombats. He even wrote a quatrain, called “Death of a Wombat,” to accompany the drawing:
“I never reared a young Wombat
To glad me with his pin-hole eye,
But when he most was sweet and fat
And tail-less, he was sure to die!”
On the basis of this work, we think Dante Gabriel Rossetti may be the greatest artist—and the greatest tragic poet—we’ve ever come across.