Crossing the Line

  • [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.
 

2017-11-08, updated: 2019-06-16

Where Gardner went too far

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.

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The Broker and the Monk

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.

more.
 

2017-09-27, updated 2019-02-25

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: