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The Hunting of the Snark The Hunting of the Snark

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John Everett Millais
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The Hunting of the Snark

Mary's and the Baker's Kerchiefs

Mary's and the Baker's Kerchiefs 

[left]: Redrawn segment from one of Henry Holiday's pencil drafts for the depiction of the Baker's visit to his uncle (1876) in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark. Below the draft you see a segment of the final – and less daring – illustration.

[right]: John Everett Millais: Redrawn Segment from Christ in the House of His Parents (1850) depicting Mary (and a part of Christ's face in the upper right corner). Below that segment you see a larger segment from Millais' painting.

This example shows how Holiday worked on the construction of his conundrums in his illustrations to Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark. Even though Holiday copied a face from a face, he reinterprated shapes of face elements from the source face in order to represent different face elements with a resembling shape in the target face. The baker's ear is based on a shape in the depiction of Marie's face which is no ear. The same partially applies to the Baker's nose and the baker's eye.

Such kind of pictorial obfuscation should not be a surprise as The Hunting of the Snark is a poem in which readers had been searching textual allusions since 1876. (Too obvuous allusions are too boring.) The focus on textual analysis of the Snark seems to lead us to underestimate Holiday's paralleling Carroll's wordplay with is own means as an graphical artist.

 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
This is an extended version of the image below:
Kerchiefs and other shapes
5 years ago. Edited 5 years ago.
 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
The whole picture:
Holiday - Millais - Anonymous - Galle (for analysis)
5 years ago.
 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
More (by Albert Boime) on sources to Millais' painting:
4 years ago.
 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
4 years ago.
 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
Millais' being accused by Charles Dickens tho have portrayed Mary as an alcoholic:
4 years ago.

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