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Drawn to Sir John Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland Prints and Pictures?

Updated on October 27, 2014
Alice in Wonderland Artwork by John Tenniel
Alice in Wonderland Artwork by John Tenniel | Source

Alice in Wonderland Pictures By John Tenniel

Sir John Tenniel is the artist responsible for rendering Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland in pictures. He is a world-famous English illustrator who lived between the years of 1820 and 1914. He was a very well known political cartoonist for the magazine Punch but celebrated today for creating the illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Sir John Tenniel's drew his illustrations with pencil and then rendered them in 'ink and Chinese white' in order to make them look like wood block prints. When the pictures were satisfactory, they were transferred to wood with the use of tracing paper and the Dalziel Brothers created top quality wood blocks. Finally, electrotype plates were created and used as masters for printing the pictures in the book. When the book was released, it was instantaneously a best seller and Sir John Tenniel's became one of the most famous literary artists of all time.

The original books featured black and white prints and that is what you will find on this page. The reproduction prints featured are all available from Amazon in different sizes and different price points, depending upon the production method used. I hope you will enjoy this trip into Alice's world via the work of Sir John Tenniel.

Click here to order this Alice "Drink Me" picture from

Sir John Tenniel's drawings were originally created as black and white pencil drawings in 1865.

Alice Draws Back the Curtain to Reveal a Little Door

John Tenniel Alice in Wonderland with Curtain
John Tenniel Alice in Wonderland with Curtain | Source

Was Alice Liddell Really The Model For Alice in Wonderland?

The illustrations resemble Miss Mary Hilton Badcock.

It is believed that Lewis Carroll sent John Tenniel a picture of a little girl named Mary Hilton Badcock and that he recommended her. It is unknown, however, whether or not Tenniel accepted Carroll's advice or whether he chose a model of his own. Lewis Carroll wrote these words after the Alice books were published:

"Mr. Tenniel is the only artist, who has drawn for me, who has resolutely refused to use a model, and declared he no more needed one than I should need a multiplication table to work a mathematical problem! I venture to think that he was mistaken and that for want of a model, he drew several pictures of "Alice" entirely out of proportion - head decidedly too large and feet decidedly too small."

Alice and the Dodo Bird

Alice in Wonderland and the Dodo Bird by John Tenniel
Alice in Wonderland and the Dodo Bird by John Tenniel | Source

The Mad Hatter By John Tenniel

The Mad Hatter by John Tenniel
The Mad Hatter by John Tenniel | Source

Alice Meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee Print

Alice Meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee Print by John Tenniel
Alice Meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee Print by John Tenniel | Source

Alice and The Red Queen Picture

Alice and The Red Queen Picture by John Tenniel
Alice and The Red Queen Picture by John Tenniel | Source

Sir John Tenniel's drawings were first done in 1865 in black and white and remained that way for more than 40 years. In 1911, eight pictures were hand colored.

Artist of Wonderland: The Life, Political Cartoons, and Illustrations of Tenniel

Victorian Literature and Culture Series by Frankie Morris

John Tenniel is of course best known today for his illustrations of Alice in Wonderland. However in the Victoria era, he was a political cartoonist and one of considerable importance.This book looks at Tenniel’s works and his life and is a book is suitable for scholars, collectors and those simply interested in Victorian life and art particularly as it pertains to political cartoons and illustrated books.

The first part of the book is about Tenniel and his enthusiasm for life including sports, theater and as well as his interest in art and the London journal Punch.

After the biography are three sections on his work including 13 essays examining Tenniel’s methods and book illustrations as well as his dealings with Lewis Carroll and his Irish cartoons.

There are six chapters dedicated to the work that Tenniel did for Carroll. R. Hardy.

An Amazon customer reviewer, said, "Any Alice fan will enjoy this good-looking volume, which is sure to become a main reference to Tenniel's life and art."

It sounds like it would be a magnificent gift for any lover of John Tenniel and his Alice in Wonderland work.

Which Alice in Wonderland art style do you like best?

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In Closing

Let me close by saying that I am not an art expert. However, I do really enjoy the illustrations in books, particularly older versions. John Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland artwork is of particular interest to me and, I suspect to others, because of the enduring popularity of Lewis Carroll's story. What do you think? Why have John Tenniel's works of art endured in popularity?

Are you familiar with John Tenniel and his artwork?

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    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Good art so often adds much to a story and these illustrations have such a wonderful uniqueness to them for the time in which they were created. Loved your lens. * blessed *

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Its as if these pictures could tell the whole story without the words

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 8 years ago

      Some of these drawings are real masterpieces. Great lens. =)

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      beautiful. i love the black and white!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland drawings do have a certain charm.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 8 years ago

      I have always love Tenniel's illustrations!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Very interesting. I like the original black and white art and have always been drawn to that style. Not sure why, but obviously John Tenniel's works of art have endured. Nostalgia, maybe?