Donnerstag, 15. September 2011

Lets get things started: Sir John Tenniels Illustrations.

The illustration of the british illustrator and caricaturist Sir John Tenniel have shaped and defined the image of Alice like no other. I own the Annotated Alice punlished by Penguin Books that has his illustrations. It has also this lovely cover image:
I love those striped stockings. :)
At Tenniel Alice size changes start (of course) in the hall of doors when she inspects a suspicious little bottle labled "Drink me".
In these illustrations you can see the great skill Tenniel had as an artist, all of the little details in her dress and the etched shadows. 
I absolutely love this one! Alices mortified face is priceless as she gets grotesquely streched tall. I can imagen that every unsuspecting victorian reader took a second look when the book was published almost 150 years ago. At this point he knew he was in for a weird ride.
Poor giant Alice. She can only look about as the white rabbit runs off. Again Alice looks adorable and the details are awesome.
Sadly these are all of his sizechange illustrations from the hall of doors. Next off its the white rabbits house.
Alice grows in the rabbits house. At this point the size changes don´t freak her out anymore, they piss her off. Look at her grumpy face as she is wedged into that far too small room. There is one thing that irks me a bit about this illustration, her head looks a wee bit too massive in relation to her body.
There is no depiction of the size changes at the mushroom by Tenniel. A pity. I would have loved to see how he draws her squashed against her feet or stretched out like a serpent.
Soooo, off to the court of the Queen of Hearts!
Alice isn´t scared or annoyed by the sitze changes anymore, she just doesn´t really care anymore. Look at her "Meh." expression as she topples over the jury. Again, the pleats and folds in her dress and the falling critters. Its awesome.
And thats pretty much it. Tenniel hasn´t done any more illustrations of Alices size changes, but he was a breathtaking illustrator. Every other illustrator of the book that came after him has to measure to him.

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