Melusine - Myths of Melusina Mermaid
Among many folk tales about mermaids created all around the world, French tale of mermaid Melusina (or Melusine) managed to survive until today and be infused into culture and art. Particularly famous in the region of France where Celts and Gauls lived, story of Melusina followed the tale of marriage between her and young human, with the focus on relationship between relationships between mortals and fey, broken promises and revenge.
Story of Melusina started with her mother Pressyne who accepted to be married to the King of AlbanyElinas, but only if he promises never to see their children naked or while she bathes them. In true fairytale fashion he eventually disobeyed that promise which prompted Pressyne to move to live in Avalon with her three daughters Melusine, Melior, and Palatyne. On their fifteen birthday daughters found out how their father broke promise and set on to punish him and lock him in a inaccessible tower. When their mother found out about their vengeance, she punished them and put curse on Melusine to become half woman half serpent (or sometimes fish) on every Saturday. After that she met in the woods Raymond of Poitou who asked her to be his wife. She accepted only when he promised never to look at her during Sundays when she bathed. Same as her father, Raymond failed to keep his promise but in the end the Melusina forgave him. However, the rift between them grew until Raymond openly called her "serpent" in front of a French court, which prompt her to transform into dragon and fly away angry, never to return again.
Similar variations of this story appeared across much of central Europe, with most popular version being recorded by Jean d'Arras between 1382 and 1394. Ever since then written accounts of his tale circulated across Europe, especially finding good reception in Germany and England.
Today, the artistic depiction of Melusina can be found in many works of art, coat of arms (official coat of arms for Polish city Warsaw bears the image of a mermaid based on Melusina), and a picture of her having two fish tails became one of the central sigils of Alchemy and many modern logos (such as internationally famous chains of restaurants Starbucks).