Monday, March 04, 2013


Stephen Nadler at the ever reliable Attempted Bloggery reminds me today, March 3rd,  is Ronald Searle's birthday!
See a celebration of swines over at Stephen's top knotch blog on cartooning and illustration here

Searle was, of course, famous for his cats but there were other creatures he drew almost as often.  These include dogs and birds  (which each deserve a post of their own) but curiously pigs too.

In fact Searle archived his sketches by animal category and the folders were labelled accordingly.  This folder contained sketches of pigs for various projects and also reference photos. Typically Searle would sketch from well researched reference and evolve the cartoon design.

Variations on the 'Moment of Reflection' (1972)
The piece appears to be a potential New Yorker cover proposal?

Sketch for Searle's 'Swine Lake' lithograph

Sketch for Searle's piggy version of Fragonard's 'The Swing' 
'Mislaid Masterpieces: SWINGER by Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806)
Despite its vivacity and virtuosity, this painting (c. 1765) was heavily criticized at the time, for not being sufficiently vacuous.  Furious, Fragonard revised the subject as L'Escarpolette, (Wallace Collection, London), in which he placed even more emphasis on the bestial behaviour of the participants.'
-Ronald Searle: In Perspective

                                                  Also published as a lithograph in the 70s

Here we see an amorous pig rejected by its pachyderm object of desire in a storyboard for an animated spot produced with Ivor Wood


The following are from Searle's sketchbook for his 'Zoodiac' book



'The Sensitive One'

'Déjeuner sur l'herbe' (1976)

The following were published in 'The Square Egg & the Vicious Circle' 1968

 This pig sleeps well while unnervingly sharing the room with a butchered human!

'This work was drawn in 1974, and it was edited in the back cover of the French magazine Le Fou Parle, issue number 9, in January 1979.' - ecc

We shall end this porcine birthday post with the idealized pig of Rome-ham Antiquity (sorry!)


docnad said...

Zoodiac is quite the bestiary with each sign of the zodiac represented by a different animal. I'm surprised to learn after all these years that, as initially conceived, Searle represented Libra with pigs. This actually makes a lot of sense, given the scales and Searle's corresponding gags about overweight and balance. Ultimately, though, Searle assigned Libra to his cats, his most popular animal creations, and the drawings work splendidly this way too. Zoodiac has always been a favorite of mine, but I hardly expected to gain new insights into the book from your post on pigs!

hajjandumrah said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first
comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.
I will keep visiting this blog very often.
flights to Umrah
cheap flight to jeddah
flights to jeddah
umrah jeddah flights
umrah flights from London
cheap flights to umrah

docnad said...

How appropriate that this post on pigs should get spammed!