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Chapter XXII

 



Size: 30 cm x 56 cm

In this five-in-one picture, Herbert tells Pip at a dinner the story of Miss Havisham, which is embodied in the four pictures framed by roses, overseen by the captions: "The Will, The Pact, The Courtship," and "The Wedding".


Pip met Herbert again in London, after their scuffle at Miss Havisham's place, Satis House. At Barnard's Inn, Herbert invites him to dinner, which seemed to him "a very Lord Mayor's Feast". There, Pip disclosed to him that he knew scarcely nothing about Miss Havisham's life. Herbert proceeds to tell the story, and while doing so gently corrects Pip's peculiar table manners. An occasion for such a correction is shown in the picture: Herbert points with his fork at Pip, who unconsciously stuffed his napkin into the tumbler. In the picture, he looks at it incredulously.

Now to Miss Havisham's sketchy past.
It starts on the very left with "The Will": Miss Havisham's father, who was a brewer, and is depicted dressed as a jolly Bacchus with a pint on a gigantic painting festooned with mourning ribbons, passed away, and left her daughter, and his son from another marriage an unequal amount of shares in the promising brewery. The half brother, who looks abject, and arm-crossed in the corner of the picture, got the short end of the stick, while Miss Havisham received a much bigger share of the deceased fortune. Knowing this, her hypocrite relatives ostentatiously show their affection for her, gathering around close to her, while a notary is reading from the brewer's will, one even drying a tear on the fatherless daughter, hoping to profit from Miss Havisham's wealthy status.

The half brother, however, quickly makes the best of the situation, and spends all of his inherited fortune on bawdy amusements. In "The Pact", the tipsy half brother just lost another game with a shady fellow to the right. As reparation for his debts, he proposes to the fellow to court Miss Havisham, and to move her to buy him out of his shares, in order to pay his debts. The fellow accepts the exciting adventure.

In "The Courtship", the shady man, dressed as a well-to-do gentleman with a fine wig, walks with a smiling Miss Havisham through the park adjacent to Satis House. Despite his winning looks, Herbert's father recalls him as a showy-man, never to be mistaken for a gentleman: "because... no man who was not a true gentleman at heart, ever was, since the world began, a true gentleman in manner." On this point, Miss Havisham and Mr Herbert clashed together, splitting the relatives for years to come.
Eventually, the shady man succeeds, and Miss Havisham buys her half brothers shares, bailing him out of his debts.

At last, in "The Wedding", the Miss Havisham we know is born: On the day of the wedding between the false gentleman and her, at twenty minutes to nine, while she is sitting in the dressing room in full bridal garments, in the middle of putting one of her shoes on, she receives a deadly blow in the form of a letter, in which the false man, without warning, and seemingly without any explanation, annulated the engagement, and bids her farewell forever. Miss Havisham quickly orders her servants to darken all windows, and to stop all clocks at twenty minutes to nine. Then, in the picture, she slumps over the letter, and a golden repeater. The picture shows the last ray of light being suffocated by a servant drawing the curtains. Miss Havisham's hypocrite relatives, Camilla, Sarah Pocket, and Georgiana, light candles, while on the left, two head servants look in confusion and concern towards Miss Havisham's slumped figure. 


I wanted to draw a picture similar to Norman Rockwell's "The Land of Enchantment". There, two boys read books on the foreground, while all kind of fable characters are depicted on the background, in a lighter hue. In this illustration, Pip and Herbert take the place of Rockwell's boys, and the four stages replace the fable characters. Also, you may notice that some faces in "The Will" and "The Wedding" seem abnormally protracted. This is due to the idea that the four stages surround Pip and Herbert as if they were four paintings. As if they were sitting in a rose pavillon. Therefore, due to perspective issues the faces become long and thin near one edge, and broader near the other.

Furthermore, the image in "The Pact" is inspired by the Polish painting "Gamblers by Candlelight" by Feliks Pęczarski, especially Miss Havisham's picture becoming see-through against the candlelight.

Chapter XXV

 

Size: 42 cm x 27 cm

At an evening, Pip and Herbert row a wherry in a race against Startop and Drummle on the River Thames.
In the background, the Hammersmith Bridge blocks the setting sun, and casts a shadow on the riverbed.

Pip owns a boat, but shares it with Herbert, who on the other hand shares with him his chambers in the City of London. Since the sport was right at the house door of his tutor, Mr. Pocket, and Startop and Drummle were already practising it, Pip joined the fun.

Chapter XXXVI

 

Size: 36 cm x 27 cm

This scene takes place just outside Mr. Jagger's office. Pip asks Mr. Jaggers's clerk Mr. Wemmick,
how he could help out his friend Herbert with a little financial aid. Mr. Wemmick, who is busy
locking the law firm's safe in the corner, smiles at Pip's question, and proceeds then to explain him
that he could find a better use of his money by throwing it down the bridges of London.
Pip is disheartened by this reply, however, Mr. Wemmick quickly adds that this was his opinion at
the law firm. This remark didn't go unnoticed to Pip, and he promptly asks the clerk whether he could
come to dinner at his place in Walworth and discuss the matter over there. Latter takes the invitation with pleasure.

Chapter XXIII

 


Size: 59 cm x 34 cm

Pip and Herbert have lunch together with the Pocket family, Startop, Drummle, and Mrs. Coiler at the Pockets house in Hammersmith, London.

This lunch scene is a blend of nice moments from the chapter, rather than a specific scene.

1: Belinda Pocket, the mother; 2: Baby Pocket; 3: Drummle; 4: Mrs. Coiler; 5: Pip; 6: Startop;
7: Herbert Pocket; 8: Jane Pocket; 9: Fanny Pocket; 10: Mathew Pocket, the father;
11: Pocket sisters, 12: Joe Pocket, 13: Dog sniffing Belinda's handkerchief; 14: Alick Pocket;
15: Flopson, Millers and the page boy.


The scene shows a lot of characters: On the very right, sitting enthroned over a dog, Belinda Pocket (1), the mother of Herbert, two brothers, four sisters, one baby, and another one to come, looks absent-mindedly out of the picture. A dog (13) sniffs at the handkerchief she likes so much to let fall to the ground. Despite being such a productive mother, she doesn't really care about the well-being of her children - here, ignoring the baby (3) on her lap almost tumbling off, and putting its eyes out with a nutcracker. She rather spends time talking about her almost-noble ancestry with the almost-noble glutton Drummle (3), who sits to her right, and is 
working himself through a glass of champagne, and a piece of cake.

Next to Drummle, Mrs. Coiler (4), the toady neighbour, bores nonchalantly into Pip's (5) past, while he
tries to concentrate on the right company-manner on how to eat cake. 

Startop (6) is chewing on a piece of cake, while Herbert (7) pleasantly oversees the chaotic scene, as he's used to it. The seats between them are empty, for the children already got up.

Jane (8) is worried about the careless way, in which her mother dismisses the baby, and tries to make it notice to her father, Mathew Pocket (10), whose arm she is clutching. Latter is split in his attention towards his one daughter, and his other, Fanny (9), whose hand he's inspecting, pointing out that she got
a whitlow. 

While the other Pocket sisters (11), whose names I didn't catch, are whispering to themselves (perhaps about the new subtenant, Pip?), Joe (12), "with the hole in the frill", is chasing after a cat, which is hiding under the bambus-bench. 

Alick (14) in an obstinate mood is dressed as a pirate. Staying in character, he tries to snatch away the remaining pieces of cake, the servants had left carelessly on the trolley. 

At the far left (15), Flopson and Millers, the head-servants, are scolding a "dissipated" page boy, who lost some buttons on the gaming table. Both servants were drawn away from the table in the heat of the action, because one has a cake knife in her left hand, and the other brandishes a tea pot on her right.  

  

For a long time I had some ideas on how to approach this chapter. It should have been a
slanted view from the top, in which every participant of the meal is seated regularly on 
a long table, with Mathew Pocket, the Father on top, "lifting himself up" according to Pip, what
I understood as stretching himself. But I found the idea too boring, too overdone. Most of my illustrated scenes revolve around people sitting at tables, and after a while I had to come up
with something new, to make the image more interesting for the viewer, and for me to draw.

I reread the scene, and I noticed, that the children might not have been present at dinner. No illustration is perfect.



Chapter XXXIX

Part 1: Magwitch in Australia.
Magwitch's, Pip's convict and benefactor, stay in Australia. He is a shepherd and he is bothering the colonists.

Part 2: Magwitch in London with Pip.



Size: 39 cm x 27 cm

A 23-year-old Pip falls down on a sofa, after the secret identity of his benefactor had been revealed to him: It is the convict Provis, or Magwitch, who Pip helped as a little boy in the marshes. Up until that moment, he thought Miss Havisham to be his secret benefactor, and falsely drew the conclusion that she intended him to marry Estella. But the advent of Magwitch turned his world upside down!

As Magwitch is holding Pip's hands, and smiling at "his gentleman", images of Pip's past flash through his head, here envisioned as grey copies of other illustrations I've made, floating around the centrepiece. The upper ones show scenes involving Magwitch, while the lower ones show his encounters with Estella and Miss Havisham. Can you discern which one belongs to which chapter?  

The ex-convict Magwitch sneaked into Britain, despite having been exiled to Australia. Coming back means death! Instead of the aristocrat Miss Havisham, Pip had drawn unknowingly on the means of a lowly convict, who is exiled for a crime, Pip doesn't even want to imagine. And in the third volume, he has to protect him, with a fatal outcome...

Chapter XXXV


∅ 39,8 cm

The Last Journey: The funeral of Pip's Sister Mrs. Joe Gargery. The funeral execution is put on by Trabb, who isn't in this picture, and is depicted here in its starting-point, Pip's childhood house in the marshes. 

The centre of the picture is occupied by Mrs. Joe Gargery's coffin carried by six undertakers, who are, according to the book, "stifled and blinded under a horrible black velvet housing with a white border [...] the whole (looking) like a blind monster with twelve human legs, shuffling and blundering along, under the guidance of two keepers."
The keepers help the bearers out of the front door to the left, by holding hands with the foremost undertakers. One of the keeper is close to the door, the other has his back to the stair on the right. The keepers wear tricornes, and hold mourning wands ("crutch done up in a  black bandage").  
On top of the velvet housing is a funeral wreath with a generous bush of meadowsweets on top.

Wrapped in mourning weeds, the funeral attendees hold their handkerchiefs to their face, and walk in pairs of two: Closest to the coffin are Joe and Pip, then come Mr Pumblechook and Biddy.

For this picture I chose to use a fisheye effect, concentrating therefore the view on Mrs.
Joe Gargery's coffin under the black velvet cloth. 

Chapter XXXVII

Size: 42 x 42 cm

In this chapter, Pip is invited by the law firm clerk Mr. Wemmick to partake at his Sunday evening at his house in Walworth, London. There he meets Mr. Wemmick's father and Mr. Wemmick's lady friend Miss Skiffins. After dinner and tea, Mr. Wemmick asks his father to read out loud the newspaper whilst the other take a seat around him and listen closely.

Then, the picture captures following moment:

As Wemmick and Miss Skiffins sat side by side, and as I sat in a shadowy corner, I observed a slow and gradual elongation of Mr. Wemmick’s mouth, powerfully suggestive of his slowly and gradually stealing his arm round Miss Skiffins’s waist. In course of time I saw his hand appear on the other side of Miss Skiffins; but at that moment Miss Skiffins neatly stopped him with the green glove, unwound his arm again as if it were an article of dress, and with the greatest deliberation laid it on the table before her. Miss Skiffins’s composure while she did this was one of the most remarkable sights I have ever seen, and if I could have thought the act consistent with abstraction of mind, I should have deemed that Miss Skiffins performed it mechanically.“


While the book focuses on describing the castle from the outside, having a stinger gun, and resembling indeed a little castle made out of wood, I tried to envision how the parlour would have looked like. The banner on top, the castle on the chimney piece, as well as the crown like chandeliers, and the weapons on the left wall hint at Mr Wemmick's partiality towards the medieval times.