The Bard



 

There are various ways available to an artist to refer to another artist’s work. Henry Holiday mostly referst to shapes and patterns in the referenced image. In the following example M.C. Escher refers to the whole concept of John Martin’s painting. (This comparison is a bycatch from my Snark hunt, which I made in 2013):

  • [left] Maurits Cornelis Escher: Cimino Barbarano, 1929 (in Escher’s “Italian” period). This reproduction (strongly shrinked in order to make it unusable for commercial purposes, but large enough for research) of the original print has been horizontally compressed and segments on the right side and of the left side of the image have been removed.
  • [right] John Martin: The Bard, ca. 1817. The colors of the original painting have been completely desaturated and segments on the top and the bottom of the image have been removed.

M. C. Escher might have made his print based on a real landscape which he saw when living in Italy. Or he was inspired by John Martin’s painting. Or Escher and Martin both might have been inspired by an earlier drawing of that alpine scenery. As for John Martin, even though his impressive landscape is related to events in Wales under the rule of Edward I, Martin took inspiration from real alpine landscapes.

 

Back to Henry Holiday. I think that he in his illustrations to The Hunting of the Snark there are many references to Martin’s Bard. Below you see a quite good example for such a reference.

Monstrances:

  • [left] Henry Holiday: Illustration to chapter The Vanishing in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, detail
  • [right] John Martin: The Bard, mirror view of a horizontally compressed and vectorized detail.


Monsters:

  • [main image] John Martin: The Bard
  • [inlay] Detail from Henry Holiday’s illustration to the chapter The Beaver’s Lesson in The Hunting of the Snark
  • [inlay in inlay] Detail from The Bard

There is more:

Horses can turn into playful weeds:

  • [left] Henry Holiday: Illustration to chapter The Vanishing in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, detail
  • [right] John Martin: The Bard, reproduction of a detail.


 

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