‘Illustrations for Alice’ (of Wonderland).

tovejansson_alice7by Maria Popova
Down the rabbit-hole, Moomin-style.
As a lifelong lover of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, I was thrilled to discover one of its most glorious creative permutations over the past century and a half came from none other than beloved Swedish-speaking Finnish artist Tove Jansson.
In 1959, three years before the publication of her gorgeous illustrations for The Hobbit and nearly two decades after her iconic Moomin characters were born, Jansson was commissioned to illustrate a now-rare Swedish edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (public library), crafting a sublime fantasy experience that fuses Carroll’s Wonderland with Jansson’s Moomin Valley.

tovejansson_alice12

The publisher, Åke Runnquist, thought Jansson would be a perfect fit for the project, as she had previously illustrated a Swedish translation of Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark — the 1874 book in which the word “snark” actually originated — at Runnquist’s own request.
When Runnquist received her finished illustrations in the fall of 1966, he immediately fired off an excited telegram to Jansson: “Congratulations for Alice — you have produced a masterpiece.”
What an understatement.
See more images via Tove Jansson’s Rare Vintage Illustrations for Alice in Wonderland | Brain Pickings.

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