Picturing Wonderland

John Tenniel’s illustrations captured the essence of Wonderland. The artist drew inspiration from Carroll’s drawings but elaborated on the author’s intentions and made the characters and their interactions vibrant and magical. In turn, Carroll’s exacting vision for the overall design of the book and the precise placement of the illustrations created a dynamic relationship between text and image. Their collaboration led to the iconic and recognizable characters that live in our imaginations today. Select a character to look closely at the development of the well-known illustrations from Carroll’s earliest sketches.

Lewis Carroll (1832–1898)
Preliminary sketches of the White Rabbit Preparatory drawing (graphite and pen-and-ink on paper), 1862-1864
Photography: Christ Church Library
© Governing Body of Christ Church, Oxford