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John  Tenniel

TENNIEL, JOHN - Punch cover, 1892 New Years Eve. Mr Punch as the sorcerer's apprentice summons up the baby New Year for 1892 on a giant ocean wave

Media Type: Pen and Ink
Art Type: Cover
Artists: John  Tenniel All

Sir John Tenniel (Bayswater, London, 28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914)
...was a British illustrator, graphic humourist and political cartoonist whose work was prominent during the second half of England’s 19th century. Tenniel is considered important to the study of that period’s social, literary, and art histories. Tenniel was knighted by Victoria for his artistic achievements in 1893.
Tenniel is most noted for two major accomplishments: he was the principal political cartoonist for England’s Punch magazine for over 50 years, and he was the artist who illustrated Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

As the influential result of his position as the chief cartoon artist for Punch (published 1841–1992, 1996–2002), John Tenniel, through satirical, often radical and at times vitriolic images of the world, for five decades was and remained Great Britain’s steadfast social witness to the sweeping national changes in that nation’s moment of political and social reform. At Christmas 1850 he was invited by Mark Lemon to fill the position of joint cartoonist (with John Leech) on Punch. He had been selected on the strength of his recent illustrations to Aesop's Fables. He contributed his first drawing in the initial letter appearing on p. 224, vol. xix. His first cartoon was Lord Jack the Giant Killer, which showed Lord John Russell assailing Cardinal Wiseman. Tenniel was one of several notable Victorians (including Charles Dickens) who performed in Not So Bad As We Seem, a play written by Edward Bulwer in 1851. The performance, a charity event to benefit the Literary Guild, was attended by Queen Victoria.
In 1857 people in India violently rebelled against British rule. The British public was outraged and took delight in bloody vengeance, including mass-killings of civilians.[citation needed] Punch was no different and contained illustrations such as Tenniel's "Justice" and "The British Lion's Vengeance on the Bengal Tiger".
When examined separately from the book illustrations he did over time, Tenniel’s work at Punch alone, expressing decades of editorial viewpoints, often controversial and socially sensitive, was created to ultimately echo the voices of the British public, and is in itself massive. Tenniel executed 2,165 separate cartoons for Punch, a liberal and politically active publication that took full advantage of the Victorian time’s mood for want of liberal social changes; thus Tenniel, in his cartoons, represented for years the conscience of the British people.

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