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drawing - Sketch of the garden at Gwaynynog, Denbigh
  • Sketch of the garden at Gwaynynog, Denbigh
    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943
  • Enlarge image

Sketch of the garden at Gwaynynog, Denbigh

  • Object:

    drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Gwaynynog (made)

  • Date:

    05/11/1904 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sepia pen and ink over pencil on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:LINDER TRUST.243-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is one of the world's best-loved children's authors and illustrators. She wrote the majority of the twenty-three Original Peter Rabbit Books between 1901 and 1913. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Frederick Warne, 1902) is her most famous and best-loved tale.

Before her marriage in 1913, Potter would accompany her family to Scotland, Wales or the Lake District for holidays. From 1903 one of Potter's favourite haunts was Gwaynynog in Denbigh, the old rambling home of her uncle and aunt, Fred and Harriet Burton. The house features in her unfinished story of two bats, Flittermouse and Fluttermouse, who live 'amongst the dusty rafters'. The garden at Gwaynynog inspired another unpublished story, 'Llewellyn's Well', written about 1911, and also the setting of one of Potter's best-loved published tales, The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. On her first visit to Gwaynynog in 1903 Potter described the garden in her journal as 'the prettiest kind of garden, where bright old fashioned flowers grow amongst the currant bushes'. She visited Gwaynynog again in March 1909 while working on her illustrations of the Flopsy Bunnies. Adept at sketching outdoors, she produced skilful work quickly and soon amassed enough background sketches 'to finish up the F. Bunnies without further delay.'

Gardens intrigued Potter and inspired the settings of several books, including the tales of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and Tom Kitten. Adopting an animal's perspective, she delighted in sketching objects that an inquisitive rabbit might find appealing: potting sheds, cold frames, water butts, trellises, winding paths, box hedges and vegetable patches. In an ingenious blending of reality and fantasy, Potter incorporated her background sketches into her book illustrations with little modification, positioning her animal characters with subtle humour and a keen sense of beauty. This sketch was used for the background to Potter's illustration of the Flopsy Bunnies eventually escaping Mr. McGregor's garden (p. 55, 2002 edition).

Physical description

Sepia pen and ink over pencil drawing of a garden scene, featuring an arch in the foreground supporting a trellis on the right; through the arch a long box-edged path leads to another gate and a gabled building in the distance on the left. Trees in the background.

Place of Origin

Gwaynynog (made)

Date

05/11/1904 (made)

Artist/maker

Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Sepia pen and ink over pencil on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Gwaynynog / Nov 5th 04'
Inscription in sepia ink on bottom left recto

Dimensions

Height: 266 mm, Width: 209 mm

Object history note

Drawn by Beatrix Potter at Gwaynynog, Denbigh on 5 November 1904. Given by Leslie Linder (1904-1973) to the National Book League (now the Book Trust) in 1970 as part of a representative selection of Beatrix Potter’s work. This selection, comprising 279 drawings and 38 early editions and now known as the Linder Collection, was acquired on long-term loan by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1989 and remains the property of a charitable trust, The Linder Trust.

Descriptive line

Sepia pen and ink and pencil drawing; sketch of the garden at Gwaynynog, Denbigh, by Beatrix Potter, 5 November 1904; Linder Collection object no. LC.27.A.4; catalogue no. 4.73.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Brief catalogue entry, no. 4.73.
'Anne Stevenson Hobbs (compiler), The Linder Collection of the works and drawings of Beatrix Potter : catalogue of works on paper, London, 1999'

Materials

Sepia ink; Pencil; Paper (fiber product)

Techniques

Drawing (image-making)

Subjects depicted

Paths; Fences; Hedges; Flowers (plants); Buildings; Gables (architectural elements); Trellises; Trees; Sheds

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

National Art Library

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