December 11 – Hippogriff

Wednesday 11 December 2019
Hippogriff from Orlando furioso, 1584 (TypIV.B84FA)

Probably most well known now as a character in Harry Potter, the hippogriff is a legendary creature which is half eagle and half horse.

This depiction is from Ludovico Ariosto’s poem, Orlando furioso, which first appeared in 1516 (this edition is from 1584). The Italian epic poem centres on the story of a knight called Orlando and includes fantastic creatures such as sea monsters and a flying hippogriff. At one point a hippogriff is ridden by a knight hunting for a cure for Orlando’s madness.

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