The Broker and the Monk

  • [left]: Detail from an illustration by Henry Holiday to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark depicting the Broker (upper left corner).
  • [right]: Detail, unknown artist: Edward VI and the Pope, a Tudor anti-papal allegory of reformation (16th century).


Among my comparisons between Henry Holiday’s illustrations (in Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”) and artwork form other artists, this is one of the clearest examples showing Henry Holiday’s reference taking technique. When quoting shapes from other works of art, Henry Holiday often re-interpreted them before integrating them into his own illustrations. In these cases he quotes shapes, not symbols. Only the monk’s nose also was used as a nose in Holiday’s illustration.

Holidays Snark illustrations are conundrums. And they were constructed as conundrums. The colored boxes are meant as a little help to you. There is not only a relation between the patterns marked by the same color, also the topological relation between the patterns on the left side and the right side shows has been largely maintained.

I think that I made a mistake. The yellow rectangle on the left side needs to be shiftedt a bit upwards.)

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2017-09-27, update: 2021-03-10

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