The incredibly keen-eyed among you may have noticed that I’ve recently been building up a Places of Beauty section in my link list way down in the left column (yes, for IE users that will be somewhere riiiiiight down the bottom, touching the carpet). It started because I wanted to include Persephone Books website, but has morphed into a nebulous collection of websites which I think are beautiful, or are about beautiful places. That includes the artist I blogged about recently, Nicholas Hely Hutchinson (5 of his cards on the way to me, from this online shop), a wonderful illustrator called Alice Tait, the beautiful Arts & Craft house Blackwell in the Lake District and my own dear Magdalen. Any suggestions, especially for artists’ and illustrators’ websites, are welcome.
Today, however, I wanted to draw your attention to Lauren Harman’s website of Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland illustrations. Harman is a talented artist herself, but the website is a collection of all the illustrations she could find of the Alice books, from first publication to one which isn’t even published yet. Think Alice illustrations begin and end with Tenniel and Rackham? Think again!
Now, I think Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Throught The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There are works of genius, and I don’t use the term lightly. In fact, I’d only (in my very humble opinion) unhesitatingly use the attribute of Shakespeare, Woolf and Lewis Carroll. (Please, no sidetracks into whether or not Carroll’s motives were suspect…) BUT, even if – like Our Vicar’s Wife – you don’t like the Alice books, this assortment of illustrations is a truly wonderful resource artistically, or just to see how differently artists have interpreted the books.
And there are some surprising names – Lewis Carroll himself, even Salvador Dali (see immediately below). Stuck-in-a-Book favourite Tove Jansson isn’t mentioned on Lauren’s website, but her Alice illustrations can be seen elsewhere, here. (By the way, for each picture in this blog post, click on it to be taken to the corresponding page on Lauren’s site, for a bit of artist information etc.)
Do go and have a look at the Alice illustrations, a few of which I’ve put in this post – I tried to contact Lauren, but if she’d like me to remove them, I will do so. From the simple designs of Roberta Paflin to the sweet depiction from Bessie Pease Gutmann, I also recommend AA Nash, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Anthony Brown and Henry Morrin. A wonderful resource, and making me want to go and read the Alice books all over again.