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Henry Holiday

(1839—1927) painter and stained-glass artist


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(1839–1927), British painter and sculptor, celebrated in the Victorian period for his stained- glass windows but today remembered as the illustrator of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876). Carroll met Holiday in Oxford when he was painting a frieze in one of the college chapels, but it was probably the artist's drawings of nude children that impressed Carroll the most, and prompted him to approach Holiday about illustrating The Hunting of the Snark. John Ruskin tried to dissuade Carroll from employing Holiday, thinking him clearly inferior to John Tenniel. Carroll's own concern about Holiday's ability (“If only he can draw grotesques”) is more to the point: Holiday's illustrations are not as grotesque or surrealistic as the “agony in eight fits” they attempt to depict. However, his detailed pictures brilliantly convey the specifically Victorian context of the nonsense.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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