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Alice in Wonderland Collection

The Alice Illustrators

Photograph of John Tenniel. The Tenniel Illustrations to the "Alice" Books. Michael Hancher. Ohio State University, 1985.Sir John Tenniel

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass and What She Found There contain the well-known illustrations of Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914).

While most of Tenniel's illustrations were based on Carroll's drawings in Alice's Adventures Underground and Carroll's specifications, Tenniel's illustrations are among the finest ever produced. Each illustration was drawn on boxwood; the illustration was then sent to the engravers who engraved the block for printing. The remarkable detail and obvious care of Tenniel's illustrations despite this rather clumsy technique attest to the skill of both Tenniel and the engravers.

While most contemporary readers of Alice see little more than a childrens story, Victorian adults may have had a much different experience. Well known for his caricatures in Punch, a popular political magazine, Tenniel satirised political leaders and events. In fact, many scholars claim Alice characters are reminiscent of Tenniel's Punch drawings.

 

Other Illustrators

While Sir John Tenniel is well known as the original Alice illustrator, many other accomplished artists have depicted the adventures of this beloved little girl.

Among these other illustrators are Mabel Lucie Attwell, C.A. Federer, Bessie Pease Gutmann, Gwynedd M. Hudson, A.E. Jackson, Maria L. Kirk, Arthur Rackham, and Harry Riley. One of the most famous artists to illustrate the story is Salvador Dali. Published in 1969, the Dali Alice contains original woodcut remarques in a linen and leather case.


Image: Photograph of John Tenniel. The Tenniel Illustrations to the "Alice" Books. Michael Hancher. Ohio State University, 1985.

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