Nymphs truly are in tune to the wood. Many come with berry tops, like Batman’s Poison Ivy (left). It almost seems wrong to picture them in any other way. Poison Ivy often partners with Harley Quinn, the Harlequin; did DC Comics borrow this idea from, John_Reinhard Weguelin’s, 1905 artwork, The Magic of Pan’s Flute (right). Pan like Harley Quinn is a trickster. Maybe they chose Poison Ivy’s, hair color, due to Robert Henri’s painting, Edna Smith in a Japanese Wrap; I don’t know but I do know why I used the painting as the cover for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales. The answer to this “why,” is that Poison Ivy stems from the tale, Rappaccini’s Daughter. Dryads and nymphs from mythology also played a part, but the poisonous kiss comes by way of Hawthorne’s’ retelling of a Robert Burton tale in The Anatomy of Melancholy, which came from the tale, Gesta Romanorum, which came from India’s Mudrarakshasa. Art often intertwines with history and other works of art. The practice of conditioning oneself to poison probably began with a shaman lost in history.

Pan and the very similar, Puck, most likely gave some inspiration to the Joker and Harley Quinn, but Victor Hugo’s, The Man Who Laughed, is an acknowledged source of inspiration.

The making of this post has helped me refine some physical characteristics of two of my characters. I also allude to Hawthorne, the author, in my book. Hawthorn, the plant, also has a role due to its thorny nature, as member of the Rosaceae family.


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