In John Milton: Completes Poem and Major Prose, edited by Merritt Y. Hughes, the text states in the introduction to L’ Allegro and Il Penseroso: “Bernard MEINSKY’S [emphasis mine] illustrations in L’ Allegro and Il Penseroso (London, 1947) excel Blake’s in emphasis on the erotic potential in L’ Allegro, but do not try to compete with him in interpretation of the “Platonic” element in Il Penseroso” (68). Well, I wanted to see these images, so I started to search for them. So I searched…and I searched. I used every database I could think of. All the art databases came back with zilch on this guy. Odd, I thought, for someone who illustrated Milton’s work. So I searched more. Nada. Finally, I went to WorldCat and search via publication place and date. Found it. Know what? His name is spelled wrong in Hughes. His name is Meninsky not Meinsky. Thirty-five libraries around the country have a copy. Closest one? HRC at UT. Figures. I could only find one image from this book, and as long as I looked for the stupid thing I was really, really disappointed.
Without further ado, here it is. It is an illustration from Il Penseroso.
Many times I look at art and think “Ok. I guess that’s art. I’m gonna read my Spider-Man comic now.” I kinda thought that after seeing this. But that’s just me.