While doing research for my job as curator of the International Museum of Russian Art, I stumbled across a familiar painting by Ilya Repin - Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom. Repin’s works are always enjoyable to look at but this time I noticed something very strange in the top portion of the piece: a Pokémon.
This may seem strange to you since Repin and Pokémon never lived at the same time (as far as we know) but there’s no doubt in my mind that this fish is none other than the Water-type Koi Pokémon named Goldeen. It’s not uncommon to find references to various Pokémon in historical texts, like the Persian found in the Bible, but as far as I know this is the first time we’ve ever actually seen a Pokémon depicted in a work that supposedly predates the games themselves.
What do you think this means for the true timeline of Pokémon? Could the game have been influenced by actual creatures that are extinct in our time or could Repin have simply plagiarized this design? Hopefully one day we will have all the answers to the mysterious puzzle that is Pokémon, but until then keep your eyes peeled for more clues!