On Borrowing

One of the surest tests [of a poet’s superiority or inferiority] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.

T. S. Eliot, p. 114 in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism, 1920

 
Likewise, a good illustrator welds the theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different and sometimes even funnier than that from which it is torn.

And Lewis Carroll may have borrowed from Thomas Gray.

 

All art is infested by other art.

(Leo Steinberg, in Art about Art, 1979)

 

Gustave Doré was an inspired master thief too:Segments from:
※ Plate I (mirror view) of Gustave Doré’s illustrations to Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote (1863),
※ Matthias Grünewald’s Temptation of St Anthony (c. between 1512 and 1516, a panel of the Isenheim Altarpiece, now located at Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France).

 
The borrowing never ends:

 
2018-02-18, update: 2022-01-05

My 1st Snark Trophy

My first Snark encounter was in 2005. Then, after almost four years, I entered the Snark hunting grounds in December 2008. http://www.artandpopularculture.com/User:Goetzkluge could give you an idea where I was in 2010.

The image shows illustrations by Henry Holiday (from The Hunting of the Snark, 1876) and Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder (Allegory of Iconoclasts, aka The Image Breakers, around 1567): In the “mouth” of Gheeraerts’ “head” a praying priest is depicted. The shape of the priest also is visible in the “mouth” of Holiday’s vanishing “Baker”.

There is more — with acknowledgments to Mahendra Singh, to John Tufail and to the Internet.

And there are more big heads.

Articles in this blog about Henry Holiday’s illustration to the chapter The Vanishing.

 
2017-08-28, updated: 2021-11-20

“Thought to be based on Gheeraert’s iconoclasm image”

Message to the Public Domain Review (2019-10-10): You are using my comparison (from December 2008) without proper referencing. This was my first discovery of one of Henry Holiday’s allusions. This finding started my Snark hunt. I think that Public Domain Review should specify the source (my proposal).

(February 2021: Now there is a link “thought by some” in publicdomainreview.org/collection/the-art-of-hidden-faces-anthropomorphic-landscapes)

Image (2019-10-10) from https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/the-art-of-hidden-faces-anthropomorphic-landscapes#17-0:

Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder’s allegory of iconoclasm, ca.1566 — Source.

The next picture is an illustration by Henry Holiday for Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. The face hidden in the darkness of the trees is thought to be based on Geheert’s iconoclasm image above.

The tenth of Henry Holiday’s original illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, 1876 — Source.


By the way, it’s not “the 10th” of Henry Holiday’s original illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. Holiday contributed only nine (not ten) illustrations to The Hunting of the Snark and two illustrations for the book cover. The Ocean Chart probably had been made by a typesetter, not by Henry Holiday.

And there are various way’s to write Gheeraert’s name. 😉

For discussion: Twitter | Flickr 2009

 
2019-10-10, updated: 2021-02-18

When the Queen met the Boojum

This is the first page published in snrk.de, a blog which was set up in 2017. It’s mostly about Lewis Carroll‘s, Henry Holiday‘s and Joseph Swain‘s illustrations to The Hunting of the Snark.

In his Illuminated Snark, John Tufail assumed that the night sky in the front cover of The Hunting of the Snark could be a map. Together with my assumption that Henry Holiday drew inspiration from several paintings by Marcus Gheeraerts (I+II), John’s paper helped me to find the Ditchley Portrait. That again helped me to find the painting by an unknown artist depicting Elizabeth I at old age.

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2017-08-28, update: 2020-02-27

Pigs and a Tuba

Help! I am seeing pigs!

In some of his illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, Henry Holiday alluded to The Image Breakers, a 16th century print made by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder. I see at least one of Holiday’s pigs in that print (spoiler) and also something which Henry Holiday could have turned into a Moritz bass tuba.

2019 is the year of the pig. Does that make me see pigs everywhere, or did Henry Holiday see that pig in Gheeraert’s print too?

Actually, I have to confess that I saw the pig already in 2009. But I didn’t mark it then:

It Looks Furry

inspiration by re-interpretation

The Birthday of Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder

Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder was born on 1636-01-19.

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Nose is a Nose is a Nose

A Snark article in the Knight Letter
(with lots of help from the editors Chris Morgan and Mark Burstein)


Source: Knight Letter (ISSN 0193-886X), Fall 2017, Number 99

When I wrote this article, I failed to mention that already in 1973 Elizabeth Sewell pointed out in The Field of Nonsense that a line in Carroll’s poem has a similarity to a line in a limerick by Edward Lear (MG058). I am sorry for not having mentioned that.

I posted my article online with permission of the Knight Letter editors. In the online copy, I fixed the wrong URL kl.snr.de. It’s kl.snrk.de. Furthermore, four additional images have been attached to my online version.

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2009


2018-02-09, update: 2018-12-30: Reference to Elizabeth Sewell

The Image Breakers

  • [left]: The Banker after his encounter with the Bandersnatch, depicted in Henry Holiday’s illustration (woodcut by Joseph Swain) to the chapter The Banker’s Fate in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark.
  • [right]: a slightly horizontally compressed rendering of The Imagebreakers (1566-1568, aka Allegory of Iconoclasm), an etching by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder.

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