(click image to enlarge)
An ‘Exit’ speech
Tenniel depicts Gladstone as Shakespeare’s Richard III in order to show how his arguments in favour of Irish Home Rule were making him increasingly isolated and unpopular. Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914), seated at left, and Lord Hartington (1833- 1908), seated at right, were so opposed to Home Rule as to resign from the Liberal Party and found the Liberal Unionist Party.
Happy Birthday Sir John Tenniel, 200 years old today. This pencil drawing shows Tenniel at his best, with exquisitely detailed line and tone; an artist in his prime (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was famously published with his illustrations in 1865), at a time when he had become the grand old man of Victorian cartooning, and the look of Punch, where he was to produce 2000 cartoons over 50 years until his retirement in 1900. This pencil drawing remained in the family of Tenniel’s sister, Mary Green, until recent years. It is part of a large body of Tenniel’s work held by the gallery, which was recently researched by Matt Cruikshank of Google to produce today’s Google Doodle. https://www.google.com/doodles/sir-john-tenniels-200th-birthday It can be currently be seen in ‘Comedy and Commentary’, a loan exhibition from the gallery on show at Mottisfont House, Hampshire (National Trust) until 11 April. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont/features/comedy-and-commentary-exhibition-at-mottisfont