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The Most Iconic Illustrations Of Alice In Wonderland
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The Most Iconic Illustrations Of Alice In Wonderland

Picture of Mariya Bondareva
Updated: 6 January 2017
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better recognised by his pen name Lewis Carroll, not only popularised literary nonsense, but left a great deal of inspiration for his followers. Carroll may have spurred his greatest creativity long ago, but Alice continues to stir the imagination of illustrators. Here, The Culture Trip explores the various stylistic renditions of Carroll’s most unforgettable creation.

John Tenniel, an English political cartoonist and humorist, created the authentic illustration of Alice’s first 1865 book edition. The Gryphon (pictured above) is one of 92 drawings sketched by Tenniel for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You can add it to your wish list under two conditions: in case you are in search of a decorative coup or if your credit card has an extra £50,000.

Helen Oxenbury's Book Cover | © ThomWong/Flickr
Helen Oxenbury’s Book Cover | © ThomWong/Flickr

Imagine Alice as a young girl of today. Easy, as our world is not a tiny bit less wondrous than the one Lewis Carroll described 150 years ago. An inquisitive, spirited child in a casual blue dress awakens a mischievous teenager in each of us. The 21st century Alice and other personages come to life thanks to Helen Oxenbury, winner of the Kate Greenaway medal and a Kurt Maschler award.

Andrea D'Aquino's Book Cover | © Andrea D’Aquino
Andrea D’Aquino’s Book Cover | © Andrea D’Aquino

New York City-born artist Andrea D’Aquino added a new watercolour dimension in her own illustrations of Alice in Wonderland. Same story, different ‘free fall.’ Afternoon ceremony will never be the same as Andrea admits using tea-stained paper for the famous Mad Tea Party chapter and skilfully turns watercolour/ink into a renewed classic interpretation.

An Alice stamp by Grahame Baker Smith | © Alicja/Flickr
An Alice stamp by Grahame Baker Smith | © Alicja/Flickr

If you have not lost a pound with the Royal Mail, you might be familiar with Grahame Baker-Smith stamp collection portraying Alice’s Adventures in a digital-traditional manner. The artist’s work is a complex labour, involving the use of a great deal of fantasy and Photoshop skills. Become more adventurous and instead of a message send your friend a letter with a little bit of magic on top.

Robert Ingpen, Greek edition | © Nikos Vatopoulos/Flickr
Robert Ingpen, Greek edition | © Nikos Vatopoulos/Flickr

Australian writer and famous children’s book illustrator, Robert Ingpen, portrays Alice as a rather gentle and girlish spirit. Double the sweetness considering the fact that he dedicated his edition to his granddaughter (named Alice). In his own edition Robert turned Alice and the Cheshire Cat into red-haired personages that continue travelling and exploring a wonderland with every reader. Set onto the journey, but this time try not to confuse fantasy with reality.

Alice in Wonderland by Gertrude Kay | © Wikicommons
Alice in Wonderland by Gertrude Kay | © Wikicommons

In her articles published in Ladies’ Home Journal called ‘Adventures in Geography’, Gertrude Kay navigated herself to a kind of Alice’s Wonderland. Influenced by far Eastern culture, the American writer and illustrator mapped out the image of Alice and her friends in a unique and recognisable way adding rich colours to every scene of the captivating journey.

Alice in Wonderland by Salvador Dali
Alice in Wonderland by Salvador Dali | © Elizabeth Hansen/Flickr

12 heliogravures, one for each chapter of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel, transform Alice’s adventures into Salvador Dali’s unique vision of Wonderland and its inhabitants. Influential literary critic William Empson once wrote, ‘Alice has, I understand, become a patron saint of the Surrealists.’ And an iconic, brave child that lies within each of us.