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Parsons - Holiday - Millais - anonymous | by Bonnetmaker
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Parsons - Holiday - Millais - anonymous

(1) 1882, Alfred Parsons: Charles Darwin's new study

(2) 1876, Henry Holiday: Illustration to Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark"

(3) 1850: John Everett Millais: Christ in the Home of his Parents (The Carpenter's Shop)

(4) 16th century, anonymous: Edward VI and the Pope, An Allegory of Reformation, (mirror view)

(5) On 2010-11-19 I learned, that on the cover page of Margaret Aston's The Kings Bedpost (1994) you can see, that also the anonymous painter quoted from an print Ahasuerus consulting the records.

 

Four rooms with a view, although Margaret Aston (see below) assumes, that the "window" in (4) is an inlay.

 

As for this comparison of four images, I have the following assumptions:

 

== Chain of quotes ==

(1) quoted from (2),

(2) quoted from (3) and (4),

(3) quoted from (4),

(4) and perhaps (2) quoted from (5).

 

As for the window scene in (4), in The King's Bedpost: Reformation and Iconography in a Tudor Group Portrait (1994, p. 72), Margaret Aston compares the iconoclastic scene to prints depicting the destruction of the Tower of Babel (Philip Galle after Maarten van Heemskerck, 1567).

 

== Parsons discovered Holiday's puzzles ==

Quoting in (1) from (2) may have been Parsons' way to "comment" as an artist (playing a kind of insider joke) on Holiday's quoting in (2) from (3).

 

== Joseph Swain ==

At least one more artist was involved in this game: Holiday's illustration has been cut by Joseph Swain. Swain surely knew, what Holiday did. Also, Swain worked for Millais as well. I guess, that Millais also understood, that Holiday showed his understanding of Millais' Carpenter's Shop by quoting from the painting. To me all this appears as an silent insider cooperation between artists. I also do not believe, that Carroll/Dodgson was excluded from this cooperation.

 

== Charles Darwin ==

I think, that Lewis Carroll (and Henry Holiday in consequence ot that) addressed several issues in the Snark. Besides debates e.g. in Christ Church College on the direction of the Anglican church ("Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.") also the findings, the methods and the Beagle voyage of Charles Darwin may have been an issue. If Parsons would have had the same idea, playing that joke in a depiction of Darwin's study would have made sense.

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Taken on June 18, 2010