Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/520

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
400
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

most comical picture in the whole of the Punch volumes—will afford the most conclusive answer, as will also the quaint and mirth-provoking little pictures which he designed for "Alice in Wonderland," its sequel, "Through the Looking-glass," and the 1864 edition of the "Ingoldsby Legends." One of these last, by the way, so closely resembles a scarce design of John Leech's in the "New Monthly," that the coincidence will strike any one who has an opportunity of comparing the two together. During the fourteen years that Mr. Tenniel was a fellow-worker with the late John Leech, he contributed to the pages of Punch about 1,400 designs, of which upwards of 400 are cartoons. We believe we are correct in stating that all these illustrations, and his subsequent and contemporary designs, were drawn at once upon the wood block, not a single preliminary sketch having been made.

* * * * * *

Here, in accordance with the plan which we designed when we sat down to write this work, we bring our labours to a close. If we have omitted all mention of two very excellent and talented artists, Messrs. Charles Keene and George Du Maurier, it is not from any lack of appreciation, but because one of them at least began his labours just about the period when those of John Leech were drawing to a close, while the reputation of both were made after their distinguished contemporary was laid to his rest. The merits of both these able men and of those now following after them must be left to be dealt with by another chronicler. Although, as we remarked in our opening chapter, the wood engraver has rung the knell of English caricature, with such clever men as Colonel Seccombe, Mr. Proctor, Mr. Randolph Caldicott, Mr. F. Barnard, the present George Cruikshank, Mr. Chasemore, and others whose names do not at present occur to us, there is happily no prospect of a decline in the art of English graphic satire.