[left]: Illustration The Crew on Board by Henry Holiday to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876)
[right]: Crossing the Line (1839), based on a print by Thomas Landseer, after Augustus Earle. You will find the print in Robert Fitz-Roy’s Narrative of the surveying voyages of HMS Adventure and Beagle, Vol II (1839).
This is of of the comparisons where am not so sure whether Holiday alluded to Landseer’s print. If it is, then you might wait a little bit before you look at my spoiler where I marked possible(?) clues given to us by Holiday.
In the introduction to The Hunting of the Snark (Penguin Classics edition, 1962, 1974,p. 17), Martin Gardener wrote:
How well the academician Holiday succeeded in producing grotesques for the Snark (it is the only work of Carroll’s that he illustrated) is open to debate. Ruskin was certainly right in thinking him inferior to Tenniel. His drawings are, of course, thoroughly realistic except for the overzize heads and the slightly surrealist quality that derives less from the artist’s imagination than from the fact that he was illustrating a surrealist poem.
I think that Gardner certainly was wrong. And Ruskin certainly was wrong as well. But, of course, that is open to debate.
In this image one of the elements has been marked (orange frame) which Henry Holiday borrowed from a 17th century painting (by an anonymous artist). This might be a bit different from the borrowing described by T. S. Eliot in 1920. In the example shown here, the borrowing of the pictorial allusion is inconspicuous. It doesn’t enrich Holiday’s illustration. It’s only purpose might be that of a signpost pointing to another work of art.
I discovered that “face” in Matthias Grünewald’s painting in 2018, but perhaps I was not the first one. I think that Gustave Doré found it already in the year 1863 when looking for inspiration from other artwork.