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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914), Cartoonist and illustrator

Artist and cartoonist; born 28 February 1820, in Bayswater, London, of Huguenot descent. First exh. 1836 with Society of British Artists; briefly at Royal Academy Schools 1842, then attended anatomy lectures and life classes at Clipstone Street Artists’ Society; submitted cartoon for House of Lords fresco 1845; joined Punch as second cartoonist and successor to Richard Doyle 1850; remained with the magazine fifty years, working with, then succeeding, John Leech as chief cartoonist 1864; made drawings for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (publ. 1865) and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1872); knighted by W.E. Gladstone 1893; retired from Punch 1901; a widower from 1856, died in London, 25 February 1914, three days before his 94th birthday.

Tenniel’s appearance was described as follows:

He was tall, slim, and upright, clean-shaven, except for long and drooping moustaches, quietly courteous and dignified, with a peculiarly distinguished voice. [1]

And in later years:

His eyes had a fierce sort of flash in them, and his long moustaches, his hawk’s nose, and his healthy complexion, burnt in as it were, by the suns and winds and rains of many marches, all added to the illusion [of a cavalry colonel]. He held himself, too, as straight as a dart, and his speech was soldierly and downright. [2]

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) F. Anstey, A Long Retrospect, London, 1936, p.59.
2) Punch 1914, p.14.

Referencesback to top

Bills & Knight 2006
Bills, M., and V. Knight, eds, William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age, London, 2006.

Bills & Webb 2007
Bills, M., and D. Webb, eds, Victorian Artists in Photographs: [The World of G.F. Watts]. Selections from the Rob Dickins Collection, exh. cat., Watts Gallery, Compton, 2007.

Bills 2013
Bills, M., Frank Holl: Emerging from the Shadows, Philip Wilson, London, in association with Watts Gallery, Compton, 2013.

Cohen & Wakeling 2003
Cohen, M.N., and E. Wakeling, eds, Lewis Carroll & His Illustrators: Collaborations and Correspondence, 1865–1898, Ithaca, NY, 2003.

Collingwood 1898
Collingwood, S.D., The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, London, 1898.

Cuppleditch 1981
Cuppleditch, D., Phil May: The Artist and His Wit, London, 1981.

Curtis 2004
Curtis jun., L. Perry, ‘Tenniel, Sir John (1820–1914)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Furniss 1901
Furniss, H., Confessions of a Caricaturist, 2 vols, London, 1901.

Furniss 1925
Furniss, H., The Two Pins Club, London, 1925.

Gaunt 1972
Gaunt, W., The Restless Century: Painting in Britain 1800–1900, London, 1972.

London 1907–9
Prominent Men of London, Shaftesbury Press, London, 1907–9.

Lucas 1932
Lucas, E.V., Reading, Writing and Remembering: A Literary Record, London, 1932.

Maas 1984
Maas, J., The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984.

McMaster 2008
McMaster, J., ‘That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy’, British Art Journal, Autumn 2008, pp.62–76.

McMaster 2009
McMaster, J., That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy, Edmonton, Canada, 2009.

Millar 1937
Millar, C.C.H., George Du Maurier and Others, London, 1937.

Morris 2005
Morris, F., Artist of Wonderland: The Life, Political Cartoons, and Illustrations of Tenniel, Charlottesville, VA, 2005.

O’Donoghue 1908–22
O’Donoghue, F., Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 5 vols, London, 1908–22 (and vol.6, H.M. Hake, Supplement and indexes, 1925).

Ormond 1969
Ormond, L., George Du Maurier, London, 1969.

Ormond 2010
Ormond, L., Linley Sambourne: Illustrator and Punch Cartoonist, London, 2010.

Pudney 1976
Pudney, J., Lewis Carroll and his World, London, 1976.

Punch 1914
‘Sir John Tenniel’, special supplement to Punch, 4 March 1914, pp.1–16.

Reeve & Walford 1863–7
Reeve, L., and E. Walford, eds, Portraits of Men of Eminence in literature, science and art, with biographical memoirs. The photographs from life, by E. Edwards, 6 vols, London, 1863–7.

Reynolds 1912
Reynolds, A.M., The Life and Work of Frank Holl, London, 1912.

Sambourne 1892
Sambourne, L., ‘Political Cartoons’, Magazine of Art, 1892, pp.43–4.

Sambourne 2003
Linley Sambourne House Guide, [London], 2003.

Snow 1975
Snow, C.P., Trollope, London, 1975.

Spielmann 1895a
Spielmann, M.H., The History of Punch, London, 1895.

Spielmann 1895c
Spielmann, M.H., ‘Our Graphic Humourists: Sir John Tenniel’, Magazine of Art, 1895, pp.201–207.

Wallis 1957
Wallis, N., ed., A Victorian Canvas: The Memoirs of W.P. Frith R.A., London, 1957.

Ward 1923
Ward, E.A., Recollections of a Savage, London, 1923.

Wood 1976
Wood, C., Victorian Panorama: Paintings of Victorian Life, London, 1976.

Wood 2006
Wood, C., William Powell Frith: A Painter & His World, Stroud, Glos., 2006.