The unicorn is a legendary animal from European folklore that resembles a white horse with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead, and sometimes a goat’s beard and cloven hooves. First mentioned by the ancient Greeks, it became the most important imaginary animal of the Middle Ages and Renaissance when it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness.
In early Attic and Beotian vase-paintings (see below), they are depicted with the hindquarters of a horse attached to them; in later renderings centaurs are given the torso of a human joined at the waist to the horse’s withers, where the horse’s neck would be.
This half-human and half-horse composition has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, both as the embodiment of untamed nature, as in their battle with the Lapiths (their kin), or conversely as teachers, like Chiron.
The centaurs were usually said to have been born of Ixion and Nephele (the cloud made in the image of Hera). Another version, however, makes them children of a certain Centaurus, who mated with the Magnesian mares. This Centaurus was either himself the son of Ixion and Nephele (inserting an additional generation) or of Apollo and Stilbe, daughter of the river god Peneus. In the later version of the story his twin brother was Lapithes, ancestor of the Lapiths, thus making the two warring peoples cousins.
Centaurs were said to have inhabited the region of Magnesia and Mount Pelion in Thessaly, the Foloi oak forest in Elis, and the Malean peninsula in southern Laconia. They continued to feature in literary forms of Roman mythology. A pair of them draw the chariot of Constantine the Great and his family in the Great Cameo of Constantine, which embodies wholly pagan imagery.
An elf (plural: elves) is a type of supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. Early elves, whose description depends almost entirely on Norse mythology texts, were a race of beings with magical skills, ambivalent towards humans and capable of either helping or hindering them. But Christianized societies were viewing elves in increasingly sinister light. In Anglo-Saxon England as early as the 10th century, Old English medical books attest to elves afflicting humans andlivestock by “elf-shots”. The German elf or alp was seen as an “addler” of people in medical books, but already in the High Middle Ages there were prayers warding against it as the agent causing nightmares, and eventually for the alp its identity as nightmare spirits became predominant.
In English literature of the Elizabethan era, “elves” became conflated with the “fairies” of Romance culture, so that the two terms began to be used interchangeably. Romanticist writers were influenced by this (particularly Shakespearean) notion of the “elf,” and reimported the word Elf in that context into the German language.
A number of ballads in the British Isles and Scandinavia, perhaps stemming from the medieval period, describe human encounters with the elf, elven-king, elf-maid, etc. The same ballad type (cognate ballads) are often disseminated over several countries. Some common motifs, which may also be seen in British and Scandinavian folklore, are elves enticing men with their dance, and causing death, either by elf-shot or entirely unexplained. In Scandinavia, the elf are often conflated with the beings called the huldra or huldufólk.
The “Christmas elves” of contemporary popular culture are of relatively recent tradition, popularized during the late 19th century in the United States, in publications such as Godey’s Lady’s Book. Elves entered the 20th-century high fantasy genre in the wake of works published by authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, for which, see Elf (Middle-earth).
Models: Erik Bayn & Falbala Fairey
This so pretty pictures are taken by the wonderful Erik Bayn (Mister Virtual World 2013) who asked me to come on one of his pictures and that he wants to do a fantasy shoot. Ofc I had to say yes as I am always happy if I can do fantasy shoots in any ways possible and also as I think Erik comes with an already very good eye for the light and details of a picture I was glad and honored to do this with him together. I was flashed that Erik likes the classy fantasy way and I hope we will be possible to do some again in the near future as he is a very patient photographer with also a huge taste of creativity. Out of 5 pics I picked my 3 faves to share them with you.
Credits on Falbala:
~Gown: ***TWA***Sublime Spirit-Birthstone Gown Set-October
~Hair: .:EMO-tions.. *PARADISE*
~Makeup: [Gauze] Fire Fox – Artic
~Teeths: [label mode] Teeth in Hamby
~Ring: Donna Flora SEAHORSE set+HUD
~Bracelet: Chop Zuey – Colours – Bliss in Blu/Gold
~Wings: ::: B@R ::: Fae Wings
~Ears: *~*Illusions*~* Sylph Ears
~Hands: Slink Mesh Rigged Handsin Elegant1
~Nails: Orc Inc : – Glitter Blend
Pose by GLITTERATI