On 28th February 2020, Google honoured Sir John Tenniel, the British illustrator and artist, with a wonderful doodle on his 200th birthday. A very renowned Victorian painter, Tenniel has been known for his work as the principal political cartoonist for the Punch magazine and for his illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The doodle was created by British doodler Matthew Cruickshank.
Who was John Tenniel?
Born on 28th February 1820, Tenniel was born in Bayswater, West London. He was a predominantly a self-taught artist without much formal training. At the age of 16, he submitted his first work for an exhibition at the Society of British Arts.
In 1842, he worked on his first work as an illustrator on Samuel Carter Hall’s The Book of British Ballads. Subsequently, he worked with the Punch magazine – a British weekly magazine of humour and satire – as a political cartoonist, developing his own distinctive style.
This interesting approach of Tenniel caught the attention of Lewis Carroll, who approached him in 1864 to illustrate his book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The book was released the following year and brought much acclaim and accolades to Tenniel.
This was the beginning of a very successful creative partnership between the two that continued with other works of Carroll, including Through The Looking Glass. This partnership created many wonderful and iconic characters that are loved by children and adults even to this date.
For his remarkable work, Tenniel was knighted in 1893.
Sir Tenniel passed away at the age of 93 on 25th February 1914. However, his legacy continues to live on among his fans.