Lines and Colors art blog
  • Eye Candy for Today: Tenniel’s Jabberwock

    The Jabberwock, John Tenniel, pen and ink illustration
    The Jabberwock, John Tenniel, pen and ink illustration (details)

    The Jabberwock, John Tenniel, pen and ink. I don’t know the size or location of the original drawing. Link is to the image page on Wikipedia, which in turn links to a very high resolution image (11.62 mb).

    John Tenniel’s beautifully iconic illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s books have never been equaled for their visual charm and definitive interpretations, though Arthur Rackham has perhaps come closest.

    I think Tenniel pulled out the stops (or the ink bottle stopper) for his illustration of the Jabberwock, a pseudo-mythical beast that is the titlular creature of Carrol’s nonsense poem Jabberwocky. The poem was part of Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

    The poem itself, filled with nonsensical terms that are the kind of verbal ticklers that sound like they almost make sense, has been influential and the topic of much conversation and speculation.

    I’ve quoted it here for your nonsensical enjoyment and comparison with Tenniel’s illustration:

    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought—
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

    ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    -Lewis Caroll


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  • Henry Ward Ranger

    Henry Ward Ranger
    Henry Ward Ranger

    Henry Ward Ranger was an American painter from western New York State, who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He lived and worked in Europe for a time — where he was exposed to the French art movement known as the Barbizon School, and became part of the less well known Hague School in the Netherlands — before returning to the U.S.

    He is noted in particular for his Barbizon school inspired landscapes. These were frequently rendered with thick applications of paint that produced a remarkably textural surface.

    Ranger was a key figure in the American Tonalist movement, and is even credited with coining the term. He was a founder of the artists colony n Old Lyme, Connecticut, which was originally dominated by Tonalism, though it is now better known for its later role as one of the centers of American Impressionism.


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  • Eye Candy for today: Whistler’s Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks

    Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, oil on canvas
    Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, James Abbott McNeill Whistler (details), oil on canvas

    Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, oil on canvas, roughly 37 x 24 inches (93 x 61 cm); in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which has both a zoomable and downloadable image on their site.

    The original painting is here in Philadelphia and I’ve admired it many times. I can also say with confidence that the museum’s own image of the painting is too dark (as is often the case). I’ve taken the liberty of lightening the image as I’ve shown it here.

    Whistler, like many of his 19th century European and American contemporaries, became fascinated with the prints, ink paintings, pottery and other cultural artifacts being imported from Eastern Asia at the time.

    Here, he has posed his model in colorful tradational dress, surrounded by blue and white Chinese porcelain, many pieces of which were from his own collection.

    “Lange Leizen” is a Dutch term for “long ladies”, referring to a genre of decorative pottery that featured images of thin women.

    I love the painterly touch in his depictions of the porcelain and fabric.


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  • Edwin Austin Abbey (revisited)

    Edwin Austin Abbey illustration
    Edwin Austin Abbey illustrations

    Edwin Austin Abbey, who I first wrote about in 2006, was an American painter, illustrator and muralist who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Born here in Philadelphia, Abbey studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He did a series of highly regarded murals and other artworks for the Pennsylvania state capitol, as well as a stunning 15 panel series for the Boston Public Library.

    In his mid 20s, he moved to England at the request of a publisher to do research for a series of illustrations and remained there for the rest of hs life.

    Abbey is renowned in particular for his paintings interpreting scenes from Shakespere plays, both in dramatic tableaux and portrayals of individual characters.


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  • Eye Candy for Today: William McGregor Paxton’s House Maid

    The House Maid, William McGregor Paxton, oil on canvas
    The House Maid, William McGregor Paxton, oil on canvas (details)

    The House Maid, William McGregor Paxton; oil on canvas, roughly 30 x 25 inches (76 x 64 cm); in the Corcoran Collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC.

    The museum’s page has both zoomable and downloadble high-resolution images. You can also access the high resolution image from this page on Wikimedia Commons.

    Exquisite.


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  • Johan Egerkrans

    Johan Egerkrans illustration
    Johan Egerkrans illustrations

    Johan Egerkrans is a Swedish illustrator and writer — parmarily of children’s books.

    Egerkrans has a wonderful touch with dragons and monsters. I particularly enjoy the energetic semi-cartoony style with which he portrays dinosaurs.

    Egerkrans’ work often carries of echoes of classic Swedish illustrators, particularly John Bauer (e.g. images above, bottom).

    His webstore features signed books and prints as well as posters. You can also see his work, often reproduced a bit larger, on his ArtStation portfolio.


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