Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing - Painter Painting Toys the Carpenter has Made
  • Painter Painting Toys the Carpenter has Made
    Brandt, Rolf, born 1906 - died 1986
  • Enlarge image

Painter Painting Toys the Carpenter has Made

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1945 (made)
    1945 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Brandt, Rolf, born 1906 - died 1986 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache on paper, on card support

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the artist's children

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case WD, shelf 215, box C

Although he trained as an actor, Rolf Brandt enjoyed drawing and making collages. In his native Germany he developed an interest in Dada and Surrealism and in Bauhaus artists such as Paul Klee. He moved to London from Hamburg in the early 1930s with his brother Bill (1904–83), who became famous as a photographer.

This is one of nine illustrations that Brandt made for the children’s book The Story of a Tree by Stephen McFarlane. Charting the passage of a tree from forest to sawmill to carpenter’s workshop to toyshop, the images are a charming example of illustration for children at the end of the Second World War. Brandt’s interest in Surrealism is evident in some of the illustrations, especially the cover page, where the trees take on the forms of furniture and toys.

Physical description

Gouache painting on thick paper pasted to brown cardboard support which has residual glue marks etc. Image is of a man seated on the floor of a room painting a red toy engine green. To his left six other pots of paint in different colours and another brush. A sign reads 'wet paint'. Behind him, a man (the carpenter) comes through a doorway, a mouse scurrying ahead of him; the door, off its hinges, is propped to one side. The man is carrying a rocking horse, a child's ladder and chair.Against the right wall a set of shelves with further pots and brushes. Thin paper cover-sheet attached by sellotape to back.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1945 (made)
1945 (published)


Brandt, Rolf, born 1906 - died 1986 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Gouache on paper, on card support

Marks and inscriptions

'The Story Of A Tree / No 7 / R.A.Brandt.'
Inscribed in black ink on the back

'39 Belsize Pk Gdns NW3..'
Inscribed in purple crayon below the title, number and artist's name

'The story of a tree 2.7'
Inscribed in pencil just below the address


Height: 36.7 cm, Width: 43.2 cm

Descriptive line

Gouache drawing: illustration no 7 from a set of 9 for 'The Story of A Tree' by Stephen McFarlane

Production Note

This is the design for the seventh illustration for the children's book 'The Story Of A Tree' by Stephen McFarlane.(the first is for the cover). The eight other designs for illustrations are also in the collection.At the time of acquisition the drawings were in a wrapper labelled with a list of titles of the individual drawings. It is not clear if these were assigned by the artist or appended at a later date by the publisher or the artist's family.


Paper; Card; Gouache



Subjects depicted

Painters (tradespeople); Animals; Carpenter; Labour; Trees


Children & Childhood; Drawings; Illustration; Paintings

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.