At first glance, this is just a very nice animal drawing. And then you think, wait. “Rossetti’s wombat”? As in Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre Raphaelite painter? Since when did Rossetti have a wombat, and one that was so well known that other artists were drawing his portrait? They never taught us anything about a wombat in Art History class.
It turns out that Rossetti loved animals, and had a whole menagerie of exotic pets, including a woodchuck and a Japanese giant salamander. But he was apparently particularly fond of his wombats, enough so that he made this drawing when one of them died:
Read the whole story on the British Museum website here. This makes me like Dante Gabriel Rossetti a whole lot more than I did before.
And “Rossetti’s Wombat” would make a great name for a band, or a title for a comic.