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drawing - Sketch of a path and flower beds in the garden at Gwaynynog
  • Sketch of a path and flower beds in the garden at Gwaynynog
    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943
  • Enlarge image

Sketch of a path and flower beds in the garden at Gwaynynog

  • Object:

    drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Gwaynynog (made)

  • Date:

    Probably March 1909 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and pencil on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd.

  • Museum number:

    BP.1243

  • 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 The garden at Gwaynynog inspired another unpublished story, 'Llewellyn's Well', written about 1911, and also the setting of one of Potter's best-loved published tales, The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies.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 the illustrations to her tale 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.

Physical description

Watercolour and pencil drawing of a garden path with a hedge at the far end and trees in the distance. The path is bordered by flower beds and low box hedges. Pencil outlines only of plants in the bottom left corner.

Place of Origin

Gwaynynog (made)

Date

Probably March 1909 (made)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and pencil on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'1'
Pencil mark on verso

Dimensions

Height: 160 mm, Width: 177 mm

Object history note

Drawn by Beatrix Potter at Gwaynynog, Denbigh, probably in March 1909. Acquired by the V&A from Leslie Linder (1904-1973) as part of the Linder Bequest in 1973.

Descriptive line

Watercolour drawing of the garden at Gwaynynog, Denbigh; by Beatrix Potter, probably in March 1909 when sketching backgrounds for The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.927.

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

Brief catalogue entry, no. 927.
'Hobbs and Whalley, Beatrix Potter : the V&A Collection, London, 1985'

Materials

Watercolour; Pencil; Paper (fiber product)

Techniques

Drawing (image-making)

Subjects depicted

Flowers (plants); Gardens; Hedges; Flower gardens; Vegetable gardens; Paths

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

National Art Library

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