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The Hunting of the Snark The Hunting of the Snark

Henry Holiday Henry Holiday


Thomas Gray
The Hunting of the Snark
Henry Holiday
The Bard
John Martin
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The Hunting of the Snark

Henry Holiday & John Martin

Henry Holiday & John Martin 

[left]: Henry Holiday: Illustration (1876) to chapter The Vanishing in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark
[right]: John Martin: The Bard (ca. 1817), now in the Yale Center for British Art, desaturated (because color is not important for the comparison) & contrast increased

In, "Jonathan" connects the painting to the poem The Bard written by by Thomas Gray in 1755. Inspired by a Welsh tradition that said that Edward I had put to death any bards he found, to extinguish Welsh culture; the poem depicts the escape of a single bard:
· · ...
· · On a rock, whose haughty brow
· · Frowns o'er cold Conway's foaming flood,
· · Robed in the sable garb of woe
· · With haggard eyes the Poet stood;
· · ...
· · A Voice, as of the Cherub-Choir,
· · Gales from blooming Eden bear;
· · And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
· · That lost in long futurity expire.
· · Fond impious Man, think'st thou, yon sanguine cloud,
· · Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the Orb of day?
· · To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
· · And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
· · "Enough for me: With joy I see
· · The different doom our Fates assign.
· · Be thine Despair, and scept'red Care,
· · To triumph, and to die, are mine."
· · He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height
· · Deep in the roaring tide he plung'd to endless night.
· · ...

Full text:"A+Voice,+as+of+the+Cherub-Choir"

The poem and the painting may have been an inspiration to Lewis Carroll and Henry Holiday in The Hunting of the Snark. This is about The Vanishing of The Baker:
· · 537· · "There is Thingumbob shouting!" the Bellman said,
· · 538· · · · "He is shouting like mad, only hark!
· · 539· · He is waving his hands, he is wagging his head,
· · 540· · · · He has certainly found a Snark!"

· · 541· · They gazed in delight, while the Butcher exclaimed
· · 542· · · · "He was always a desperate wag!"
· · 543· · They beheld him--their Baker--their hero unnamed--
· · 544· · · · On the top of a neighbouring crag.

· · 545· · Erect and sublime, for one moment of time.
· · 546· · · · In the next, that wild figure they saw
· · 547· · (As if stung by a spasm) plunge into a chasm,
· · 548· · · · While they waited and listened in awe.

I think that there are allusions to "Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills" in Milton's Paradise Lost not only in Gray's ode, but also in Carroll's poem.


John Martin

 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club

Weeds turned Horses

Bellman & Bard
6 years ago. Edited 6 years ago.
Dinesh club

When I visited Yale Center of British art, they allowed photography on the top floor, without
flash of course.

Thanks for the post

Seen in English Literature & Poetry
6 years ago.
 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
They also publish high quality reproductions of paintings in the internet.
John Martin - The Bard
6 years ago.

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