Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Illustrations - Page 4

Whitewashing NC WYETH dust jacket TOM SAWYER IMPROVED for NORI exp

Attached scan of the wrap-around dusk jacket for Mark Twain's ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, Illustrated by Peter Hurd & published by The John C. Winston Co., Philadelphia in 1931

Peter Hurd's father in law was the famous illustrator N.C. Wyeth and it was Wyeth who painted composition which represents Tom Sawyer on the far right sitting on a barrel munching an apple that Ben Rogers gave him for the "privilege" of whitewashing the fence while two adult characters: Schoolmaster Dobbins & Injun Joe stand on the far left and in the middle stand Huck Finn and Joe Harper; all four characters are watching with some disbelief at Tom's audacity and ingenuity in hoodwinking his friends.

steamboat illustration

Just got this from eBay Italia a 1981 edition of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which caught my eye immediately with its dramatic painting of the wreck of the steamboat WALTER SCOTT on the cover.

Was hoping that illustrator Cesare Colombi had painted more color illustrations for the inside of the book and that this painting would be reproduced again without the text over it but apparently this painting was done exclusively as the cover color for the book. He made sketches in black and white on the inside which he must have batted out pretty fast and they don't have the realism or detail the cover has.

I saw right away that Cesare based the steamboat on one in Sebron's painting of Giant Steamboats at New Orleans. A boat called the GIPSY, main focal point tied up in the foreground center on the levee in that painting.

I'm not sure what that's supposed to be on the roof above Cesare's pilot house which is modified so it looks more Eastern than Western.

The handling of the water is well done though . . . life on the ocean wave or flood waters shooting through a crevasse in a levee break at top speed.

Publishing information on the book:

1981 - pag. 350

Huck Finn illustration for LP cover art

A German children's LP adaptation of Huck Finn with fanciful/whimsical cover art. Huck's horizontal striped shirt and style of hat and pipe give if that European flair. Was impressed that the artist researched steamboats to paint a reasonable stylized depiction of one. The cat and birds are right out of Sesame Street. My scanner enhanced the colors so they're even richer here than they really were. Looks like friskets and airbrush at work in the clouds, foliage, the "sugar hogshead" (barrel), Huck's hat and face. . . . surrealism for the kiddies . . .


When Robert Ingpen illustrated TOM SAWYER for a 2010 publication, he painted the steamboats on the Mississippi River in the style of the relatively small Murray River sidewheelers. On Book Graphics Blog Spot the dust jacket art can be seen without the text that the publisher added for the book title, as well as the names of Mark Twain and Ingpen.

Here are Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer on the bank of the river with a Murray River style steamer behind them at center. Very subtle brush work and subdued palate, beautiful technique.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
Illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Sterling Publishing, New York, 2010
ISBN 10: 1402767625 / ISBN 13: 9781402767623

Robert Roger Ingpen is an Australian graphic designer, illustrator, and writer. For his "lasting contribution" as a children's illustrator he received the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1986.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Examples of Robert Ingpen's illustrations for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


This Italian edition of Mark Twain's HUCK FINN is copyrighted 1956 and '89. The "fine art" style color illustrations inside the book by Antonio Canilli were painted in a totally different style than the cover which is whimsical and "cartoony" of two sternwheelers and the one "wedding cake" sidewheeler which an unknown artist may have been inspired to paint that way from a quotation which has been attributed to Mark Twain himself: "A steamboat was as beautiful as a wedding cake without the complications."

The cover artist's name is cut off in the lower right corner and I can just barely make out the first two letters in their first name as "PA" and the first letter in the last name as "T." Maybe someday their identity will come to light.

This book took at least a month to get here from Italy, it may have traveled via a merchant marine vessel that stopped in many ports o'call before pulling into Los Angeles harbor. I was beginning to have my doubts that it would ever show up.


Attached photo of the title character in TOM SAWYER on stage in front of the set which includes an enlarged facsimile of the 1848 panorama of Hannibal, MO (from sketches by Henry Lewis) made by Ed Garbert and me in the center of the set piece. Scenic Designer Cliff Simon found our panorama on Professor Steve Railton's Mark Twain site. Since Hannibal was the model for "St. Petersburg" in Twain's novels, it fit the bill. A young artist who is a freshman at U of A Birmingham painted the mural on a 14 foot wide backdrop.


THEATRE in the Alys Stephens Center
1200 10th Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35294-1263

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

UAB College
Based on the Book by Mark Twain
Adapted by Lee Eric Shackleford
Tour 2006-2007

Cliff Simon


Vive la French garcons Tom and Huck by Daniel Billon 1969 & 1975

Back in June of last year I sent the TOM SAWYER, published in 1969 this French translation and recently found the companion volume, HUCK FINN published in 1975, both were published by Biblioteque VERTE and illustrated by Daniel Billon who represented his characters as rather elongated and on the TOM SAWYER cover of the boys on the raft, Tom, Huck and Joe Harper are a bit on the androgynous side. The stylized depiction of the distant steamboat was done effectively and economically.


Une Aventure de Tom Sawyer Detective Stylized steamboat, likely based on a Currier & Ives engraving "BAYOU at NIGHT"






TOM SAWYER with the steamboat MISSISSIPPI on the cover

This edition of TOM SAWYER is one that I first recall seeing in a foreign translation, probably Italian, in the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal in around 1979. This copy in English was printed in Italy; the illustrator Carlo Tora was probably Italian. He was credited with illustrating Children's Bible Stories, Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, a history of The Vikings and an anthology entitled They Amazed the World which was apparently about heroic personalities in world history.

As reference for the steamboat in the cover painting, Carlo Tora used a photograph of the MISSISSIPPI which became the BECKY THATCHER at St. Louis and Marietta before being sunk while in transit in February, 2010. This MISSISSIPPI was built in 1926 and had a distinctive style, there wasn't another sternwheeler that was quite the same in appearance and thus it is something of an anachronism to represent a steamboat during the 1840's when the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn took place, which was when young Sam Clemens was growing up in Hannibal, MO on the Mississippi, having experiences upon which he would base his novels beginning in the 1870's.

Shirley Dean abridged TOM SAWYER drastically. Most notably absent is the episode of Tom and Becky being lost in McDougal's Cave. Dean may have translated the Italian version of this edition rather than referring to the text of the original novel by Clemens. The narrative is almost entirely paraphrased rather than directly quoting from the original novel as it was published in English which further suggests that it was derived from a foreign rather than a "domestic" manuscript.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Abridged by Shirley Dean
Illustrated by Carlo Tora
Published for Odhams Books by
The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd.
Hamlyn House
The Centre
Feltham, Middlesex
Great Britain
copyright 1967 Halsingborg Litografiska
Printed in Italy


German artist illustrates TOM SAWYER

Charming stylized steamboat and boy on raft by artist Kurt Schmischke

whose illustrations also fill many of the 158 pages in this German edition of

TOM SAWYERS ABENTEUR by Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) 5:30 x 8.10 inches

Published in 1971 by W. Fischer-Verlag ~ Gottingen


Dust jacket illustration painted by Paul Laune for the 1965 Harper Perennial Classic edition of ADVENTURES of HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Sam Clemens. The boat floating above Huck's hat brim was likely inspired by Dean Cornwell's 1953 painting of the Fred Way's BETSY ANN entitled KENTUCKY RIVER BOAT that was included in a promotional ad for Early Times Brand Kentucky Bourbon.

In the middle ground is "the Duke of 'Bilgewater' (Bridgewater)" a Mississippi River con man posing as a British nobleman. In the right foreground harassing Huck is an older con man posing as "the King of France." In the novel Clemens describes the King as being bald and with a long white beard. Paul Laune has depicted the King as if he was being portrayed by the actor Ed Begley (Senior).

This painting is probably illustrating this excerpts from the end of Chapter 29 and the beginning of Chapter 30 in which Huck and Jim are fleeing on the raft from the "king and the duke":

. . . in two seconds away we went a-sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river, and nobody to bother us. I had to skip around a bit, and jump up and crack my heels a few times—I couldn't help it; but about the third crack I noticed a sound that I knowed mighty well, and held my breath and listened and waited; and sure enough, when the next flash busted out over the water, here they come! —and just a-laying to their oars and making their skiff hum! It was the king and the duke. So I wilted right down on to the planks then, and give up; and it was all I could do to keep from crying. When they got aboard the king went for me, and shook me by the collar, and says: "Tryin' to give us the slip, was ye, you pup! Tired of our company, hey?" I says: "No, your majesty, we warn't—please don't, your majesty!" "Quick, then, and tell us what was your idea, or I'll shake the insides out o' you!" "Honest, I'll tell you everything just as it happened, your majesty. . ."


Paul Sidney Laune (1899 in Woodward, Oklahoma - 1977) was an author, painter and illustrator, known for his book covers and for paintings he did of rural Western U.S. pioneer scenes. He covered pioneers, ranch-life, quarter horses in his paintings. He painted five murals for the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum in his hometown of Woodward, Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Laune worked as an illustrator and art critic in New York. He also lived in Phoenix, Arizona, where he drew quarter horses and wrote a book on them. Among the more famous works he illustrated, were books in the Hardy Boys Mystery Series Wikipedia


Rafting down the Mississippi at night with Huck and Jim Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 1885 From Chapters 18 & 19

It was just dark now. . . I struck through the woods and made for the swamp . . . red-hot to jump aboard the raft and get out of that awful country.

I run along the bank a piece and got aboard...

" . . . don't you lose no time, Jim, but just shove off for the big water as fast as ever you can."

I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi.

Then we hung up our signal lantern, and judged that we was free and safe once more.

I was powerful glad to get away from the feuds, and so was Jim to get away from the swamp.

We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't.

You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.

Yonder was the banks and the islands, across the water; and maybe a spark- which was a candle in a cabin window- and sometimes on the water you could see a spark or two- on a raft or a scow, you know; and maybe you could hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts . . .

It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened . . .

Once or twice of a night we would see a steamboat slipping along in the dark, and now and then she would belch a whole world of sparks up out of her chimbleys, and they would rain down in the river and look awful pretty; then she would turn a corner and her lights would wink out and her pow-wow shut off and leave the river still again; and by-and-by her waves would get to us, a long time after she was gone, and joggle the raft a bit, and after that you wouldn't hear nothing for you couldn't tell how long, except maybe frogs or something.

Peter Hurd Tom Sawyer fly leaves St Petersburg & Steamboats 40 percent for NORI exp

Attached scan of the fly leaves for Mark Twain's ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, Illustrated by Peter Hurd Published by The John C. Winston Co., Philadelphia in 1931

The rivertown along the shore is supposed to represent "St. Petersburg" (the fictional name that Sam Clemens gave his hometown Hannibal, Missouri on the Mississippi in his novels about Tom and Huck).

Hannibal is actually cradled among hills and bluffs and only the two rows of blocks alongside the river are on relatively flat land, the town in the fly leaves more closely resembles a New England coastal village like Mystic Seaport.

Hurd does indicate some low bluffs to the north (right) of the rivertown but they're not as high as Holliday's Hill (which Clemens renamed "Cardiff Hill" in his novels of boyhood).

In back of the skiff in the lower left corner sits Huck Finn who is steadying the craft while fantasist Tom Sawyer poses in the front half of the skiff flourishing a wooden sword as he imagines himself to be a pirate on the Spanish Main. The sidewheel steamboat in the center of the composition is named the BIG MISSOURI after the boat that Ben Rogers "personates" as he unwittingly walked into the trap Tom Sawyer conceived to get his friends to whitewash Aunt Polly's fence.


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.