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Gulliver Reading

The

Illustrations

for Gulliver's Travels

A study for Gulliver's Travels

 

In 1947 a new edition of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels appeared. It was published by Crown Publishers and included an introduction by Jacques Barzun. It had twenty four original prints and one hundred and sixty drawings by my father. Here is a sampling.

 


 

 

Lemuel Gulliver

Mr. Lemuel Gulliver

 


 

Map of Lilliput

The Voyage to

Lilliput

and Blefusco

 


 

 

Gulliver swimming to shore

Gulliver swimming to shore

 

 

 

 

A Person of Quality

A Person of Quality

 

 

 

 

Gulliver's Watch

Gulliver's Watch

 

 

 

 

The King's Army

The King's Army

 

 

 

 

The Candidates for great Employments,
and high Favour, at Court

Candidates for High Favour

 

 

 

 

The Empress

The Empress

 

 

 

 

Gulliver quenching the Fire
in the Royal Quarters of the Empress

Gulliver putting out a fire

 

 

 

 

The Emperor of Blefuscu

 

Emperor of Blefusco

 

 

 


 

 

Map of Brobdingnag

The Voyage to

Brobdingnag


 

 

Gulliver meets a Farmer

Gulliver meets a Brobdingnagian

 

 

 

A Brobdignagian Cat

A Brobdingnagian Cat

 

 

 

 

A Brobdignagian Baby

A Brobdignagian Baby

 

 

 

 

The Queen's Maids of Honor

Maids of Honor

 

 

 


 

 

Floating Island

The Voyage to Laputa

Balnibarbi, Luggnagg,

Glubbdubdrib,

and Japan


 

 

The Grand Academy of Lagado

Grand Academy of Lagado

 

 

 

 

Geese

Geese

 

 

 

 

 

Politics

Politics

 

 

 

 

The Struldbruggs

The Struldbruggs

 

 

 


 

 

Land of the Houyhnhnms

The Voyage to

the Country of the

Houyhnhnms

 


 

 

 

Gulliver meeting the Houyhnhnms

Two Houyhnhnms

 

 

 

 

Yahoos

Fighting Yahoos

 

 

 

 

Top Yahoo

The Top Yahoo

 

 

 

 

Houyhnhnm and Yahoo

Defeated Yahoo

 

 

 

 

Gulliver Explains European Politics

European Politics

 

 

 

 

European Life

European Life

 

 

 

 

Gulliver Returning Home to England

Gulliver returning home

 

 

 

 

If the Europeans invaded the
Land of the Houyhnhnms

A European Invasion

 


 


 

Inverted Spy Glass

"Luis Quintanilla was a very fine artist with a special gift for seizing and enhancing by original illustrations the most significant moments in a literary work."

 

Jacques Barzun

Sept. 25, 2000

 

 


 

 

In early January of 1948 he received a letter from Dudley Fitts. It is on Phillips Academy stationary and Fitts, at that time, was an instructor at Phillips up in Andover, Massachusetts. Fitts was a well known poet and one of the best translators of his time of classical Greek plays into English. He had received a copy of the Gulliver as a gift from his old friend the artist and replied, in Spanish, that not withstanding certain Andalucian priests they had once encountered he discovers himself to be "a believer this morning; and what has affected this unexpected transformation is your magnificent Gulliver which arrived not only at the beginning of the new year but also on the occasion of my beginning a new course here on Swift and his work. It is difficult to deny a presentiment. You have given me the gift of a fine omen, and how was it that you knew that at ten o'clock sharp this morning I would be standing before a class intoning pontifically?:


"'Very well, gentlemen: spit out your Wrigley-Spearmint
onto the floor, and you, O'Reilly of my heart, please do
me the favor of ceasing to play the trumpet. Thank you.
Gentlemen: Jonathan Swift, Christian misanthrope, was
born in Dublin in 1667, &c &c......

 

"Or is Quintanilla clairvoyant, or does God exist. Which do you prefer?


"Your Gulliver is an enchantment. The drawings have the certitude, the bitter grieving compassion which I perceived many years ago in your All the Brave, and the ferocious humor of your book, with Paul, on arroz con pollo. That is to say, they have the savage indignation which so tormented Swift himself. And they are the inevitable accompaniment to the Gulliver: it being a book which is profoundly religious I can't deny the conclusion that you are a religious painter. Very well, as I said, I believe in this form of religion....


"I am not going to continue excoriating you with this awful Castilian of mine (VOICES IN THE BACKGROUND: then, why the devil not write in English? VOICE OF PROFESSOR FEETS: What the hell, this is fun, ain't it?) Enough to say that your gift has moved me greatly, and that once again I offer you my thanks for your many elegances. Su amigo invariable,... " and here he signed it with a lovely black monogram, D. F., in black ink.


Reduced to a mere illustrator of books, he at least still received an appreciative understanding from friends, once again, who could see what he did and how it related to its subject. The great illusion and intent he had put into his work had communicated itself to Fitts, who comprehended this aesthetic significance. And communicated it back to the artist in his humorous, life enhancing, enchanting letter.

 

From Waiting at the Shore

 

 


 

American Printmakers On-line Catalogue Raisonne Project: The Prints of Luis Quintanilla

 

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