This winter why not follow Alice down the rabbit hole and experience for yourself the wonderful sights of Wonderland.
From Thursday, November 10, visitors to Duff House in Banff will be treated to a selection of Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s books, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found there.’
This is the first time these illustrations will be exhibited in the north east of Scotland and will be on display until December 30.
The story of Alice and her adventures was written by Charles Dodgson for the daughters of the Dean of Christ Church College Oxford during a boating trip on July 4, 1862.
As legend has it, at the request of one of them, Alice Liddell, Dodgson wrote out the story of a little girl who dreamt that she went down a rabbit hole into Wonderland where she met an amazing set of characters and found herself in some awfully weird situations.
Dodgson’s story, published in 1865 under the name Lewis Carroll, as ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ was a hit with children and adults alike.
The sequel ‘Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found there’, published seven years later, shared the same success
From the very start it was agreed that a major part of the stories success was due to the unique and imaginative illustrations supplied to the text by the artist John Tenniel. Despite there now being over a hundred artists who have illustrated ‘Alice’, Tenniel’s illustrations remain the definitive ones.
John Tenniel spent his life in London where he worked as a political cartoonist for Punch magazine. In 1864, he was approached by Lewis Carroll, actually a mathematician whose real name was Charles Dodgson, with the request to illustrate a small nonsense book for children he wished to publish.
This exhibition is a selection of the best illustrations from both books (about half of the complete number) in which the creativity of both Carroll and Tenniel is shown at its best.
The original drawings were made on wooden blocks and then engraved by commercial engravers in London. The prints on show – printed directly from the original wood blocks – are perfect examples of the skill of both illustrator and engraver.