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drawing - Studies of caterpillars and study of a magnified fly's foot
  • Studies of caterpillars and study of a magnified fly's foot
    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943
  • Enlarge image

Studies of caterpillars and study of a magnified fly's foot

  • Object:

    drawing

  • Date:

    5 February 1886 (drawn)
    1886 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    BP.248

  • 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.

As a young woman Beatrix Potter studied natural history with some seriousness, exploring the collections of the Natural History Museum, including the insect cases and fungi specimens. She had a collector’s cabinet full of specimens, from shells to dead butterflies and moths, and used a magnifying glass and a microscope to examine them more closely. She made numerous carefully observed studies of animals and plants from life. The Peter Rabbit books reflect her interest in natural history. The illustrations are full of accurately rendered examples from the natural world, from foxgloves to the animal characters themselves.

On this sheet Potter mounted three detailed studies of caterpillars, noting the name of each species, as well as a ‘very much magnified’ study of a fly’s foot.

Physical description

Three studies of caterpillars, mounted on a white sheet. The sheet is mounted on yellow card along with a study of a magnified fly's foot.

Date

5 February 1886 (drawn)
1886 (drawn)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Poplar Hawk Moth / Puss Moth / Privet Hawk Moth.'
Inscribed in ink below each drawing by the artist.

'Lime?'
Inscribed in pencil by the artist below Poplar Hawk Moth drawing.

'Caterpillars, these turn into large moths.'
Inscribed on mount by the artist.

'A Fly's foot, very much magnified, showing the claws (A.)'
Inscribed on the mount by the artist in pencil.

'Foot of common fly / Feb 5th 86'
Inscribed on the verso of the fly drawing in red ink by the artist.

Dimensions

Height: 395 mm mount, Width: 270 mm mount

Object history note

Drawn by Beatrix Potter, 1886. 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

Drawing; three studies of caterpillars and a study of a magnified fly's foot, by Beatrix Potter, 1886; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.341.

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.37; no.341
p.37; no.341
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

Watercolour; Paper

Techniques

Drawn; Watercolour

Subjects depicted

Caterpillars; Insects; Moths; Natural history; Fly

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

National Art Library

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