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drawing

drawing

  • Date:

    2 October 1897 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pencil and grey wash

  • Museum number:

    BP.247

  • 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.

By her mid-twenties mycology, the study of fungi, had become a strong interest, and Potter made many exquisitely detailed watercolour drawings of fungi over the next few years. Her interest was also scientific, and a (now lost) paper she wrote on the subject was read at a meeting of the prestigious Linnean Society of London in 1897, when Potter was 30.

On this sheet there is ample evidence of Potter’s interests in natural history and mycology. The front of the sheet is filled with studies of a squirrel, seen in different poses and from different angles. On the back of the sheet there is also a study of the fungus Amanita rubescens.

Date

2 October 1897 (drawn)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

pencil and grey wash

Marks and inscriptions

'old spec. Rubescens. Howes End Oct 2nd '97'
Inscribed on verso.

[pencil indication and] 'Red all over'
Inscribed on the verso by the artist.

Dimensions

Height: 280 mm sheet, Width: 335 mm sheet

Object history note

Drawn by Beatrix Potter, 2 October 1897. 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; studies of a squirrel (recto) and sketch of a fungus (verso), by Beatrix Potter, 2 October 1897; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.395.

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.43; no.395
p.43; no.395
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

Paper; Pencil; Wash

Techniques

Drawn; Watercolour

Subjects depicted

Squirrels; Natural history; Fungi; Animals

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

National Art Library

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