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drawing - Sketches of mice

Sketches of mice

  • Object:

    drawing

  • Date:

    ca. 1890s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pencil and pen and ink on paper

  • Museum number:

    BP.387(b)

  • 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.

This sheet includes numerous sketches of mice, with studies of paws as well as a sketch of two mice dancing in the upper left. It has been suggested that the sketches may be early designs for the mice dancing in Potter’s Ninny Nanny Netticoat, a rhyme and illustration first conceived in 1897 that was redrawn for Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes (published 1922). The verse goes:

Ninny Nanny Netticoat,
In a white petticoat,
With a red nose, -
The longer she stands,
The shorter she grows.

However, the mice dancing in this sheet perhaps bear a closer relationship to an illustration in The Fairy Caravan (published 1929; p.164 in the 1992 Frederick Warne edition), which shows three mice dancing; two are very close to those shown here. Mice were an important feature of Potter’s work, perhaps most famously in her book The Tale of the Two Bad Mice (published 1904) and in this and the other titles mentioned she looked back at earlier sketches as a source of inspiration.

Physical description

A sheet of studies of mice, with two mice dancing in the upper left and various other sketches, including of paws.

Date

ca. 1890s (made)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

pencil and pen and ink on paper

Dimensions

Height: 130 mm sheet, Width: 125 mm sheet

Object history note

Drawn by Beatrix Potter, ca. 1890s. Acquired by the V&A from Leslie Linder (1904-1973) in 1973 as part of the Linder Bequest, a collection of ca. 2150 watercolours, drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, books, photographs, and other memorabilia associated with Beatrix Potter and her family.

Descriptive line

Pencil and pen and ink sketches of mice, including two mice dancing and sketches of paws, by Beatrix Potter; ca.1890s; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.1020.

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

Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection: the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material: watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985. p.114; no.1020
p.114; no.1020
Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection : the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material : watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985.

Materials

Pencil; Ink; Paper

Techniques

Drawn

Subjects depicted

Animals; Mice

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

National Art Library

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