Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of British illustrator and artist Sir John Tenniel, finest identified for his work on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland sequence.
Tenniel was born on February 28, 1820, in London, and was a largely self-taught artist. He was successful from a young age, and at just 16, Tenniel submitted an oil painting for an exhibition on the Society of British Artists. But Tenniel became an illustrator in 1850 when he began working as a political cartoonist with the weekly magazine Punch.
Tenniel had a distinctive model, partly due to his near-photographic memory, and it was this approach that more than likely caught the attention Charles Dodgson, a writer and professor with the pen identify Lewis Carroll. Tenniel and Carroll met in 1864 and Tenniel agreed to illustrate Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, launched the next 12 months.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the start of a successful, though strained, creative partnership, which continued with Through the Looking Glass in 1871.
After working with Carroll, Tenniel chose not to work as an illustrator again, though he returned to Punch to continue as a political cartoonist.