Sir John Tenniel Google Doodle: Google is celebrating the 200th birthday of British illustrator and artist Sir John Tenniel with a doodle on Friday. Regarded as one of the most highly-regarded Victorian illustrators and painters, Tenniel is best remembered for bringing to life the characters of Lewis Carroll’s timeless Alice in Wonderland series.
Born in London on February 28, 1820, Tenniel became prominent in the second half of the 19th century. At just 16, the self-taught artist submitted his first piece of work, an oil painting, for exhibition at the Society of British Artists. Tenniel found his calling as an illustrator in 1850 when he became a political cartoonist with the historic weekly magazine Punch. Tenniel developed a distinctive style, due in part to his near-photographic memory.
It was this unique approach that most likely caught the attention of writer and professor Charles Dodgson, whose pen name was Lewis Carroll. After an introduction in 1864, Tenniel agreed to illustrate Carroll’s new book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, released the following year.
In 1840, Tenniel, received a serious eye wound while practicing fencing with his father. As the years passed, Tenniel gradually lost sight in his right eye.
After his work with Caroll, Tenniel never accepted another illustration job again. Instead, he returned to his political cartoon work at Punch. For his considerable contributions to both the magazine and Alice in Wonderland, Tenniel received a knighthood in 1893.
Tenniel’s illustrations have animated the imaginations of children and adults alike for generations. His legacy continues to thrive, as readers cherish these timeless works of art to this day.
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