The Unicorn by Gustave Moreau – Source: WikiArt

At the academy we’re working on folds in fabrics at the moment but at home I’m still working on a copy of Moreau’s Orestes. I’ve been testing all kinds of oils, they all have a different viscosity and drying time, plus some of them are more yellow than others. Not sure if a painting with edible linseed oil is going to last a long time, but it does add an interesting yellow/aged tint to the colours. It’s always a bit tricky to experiment. Leonardo thought it was a good idea to experiment a little during the painting of The Last Supper but the mural already started falling apart right after he had completed it.

Anyway, as I am changing part of the background of the original painting I searched for more Moreau paintings to see how he usually paints open air backgrounds (the Orestes original shows the interior of a large building/temple). I came across this unicorn and thought it was interesting to see that it had very trendy Final Fantasy-ish pastel ombre hair.

Commercial break: Fyi, I saw that L’Oreal now has a range of manga inspired pastel dyes. I am dark haired so it’s no use trying them out. I also don’t own a unicorn so can’t try it out on a one horned horsie either, alas. As such I won’t write a review.

Back to the painting. It looked quite familiar though I’d never seen it before. Then it dawned on me that a while ago I had come across a very kitschy Mantegna painting – Parnassus – in which Hermes, who also wears a red hat, is cuddling a very kitschy white horse that loooks very similar to Moreau’s unicorn.

The hair of the unicorn looks way better but it also has very scary eyes, if you ask me.

Not sure if Moreau was inspired by Mantegna but these dudes certainly were inspired by both of them: