The unicorn is the most beautifully realized part of this etching, but the creature has none of its usual associations with chastity and purity. Scholars think that Albrecht Dürer's theme may be the mythic Rape of Proserpine. In that tale, Pluto, god of the underworld, abducts a terrified Proserpine to rule with him in his dark kingdom. Every spring she was allowed to leave Hades and rejoin her mother, Ceres, goddess of the earth's fertility, and a gratified Ceres would let nature flourish again. As the maiden's awkward pose reveals, Dürer did not relish this medium, and he returned to engraving after making only six etchings.