Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

drawing - Studies of chicks and chickens

Studies of chicks and chickens

  • Object:

    drawing

  • Date:

    late 19th century - early 20th century (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pencil and watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    BP.426

  • 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.

From early childhood Beatrix Potter spent time drawing the many pets that she kept in her schoolroom: over the years, her pets included lizards, snails, bats, mice, rabbits and many other animals. During the family’s long summer holidays to rural areas she also took the opportunity to draw the plants and animals she saw in the countryside. Even her earliest childhood drawings show a serious interest in natural history, her sketches annotated with information about the species concerned.

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.

Potter often made sketches of her pets and other animals she came across. This sheet is covered front and back with studies of chicks and chickens; it exemplifies Potter’s interest in studying her subjects from every possible angle.

Physical description

Several rough studies of chicks and chickens on a single sheet that has been folded, some of the sketches partially worked up in colour.

Date

late 19th century - early 20th century (drawn)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

pencil and watercolour on paper

Dimensions

Height: 225 mm sheet, Width: 285 mm sheet

Object history note

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 watercolour studies of chicks and chickens by Beatrix Potter, late 19th-early 20th century; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.169.

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.24; no.169
p.24; no.169
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; Pencil

Techniques

Drawn

Subjects depicted

Chickens; Birds; Natural history; Hens; Chicks; Feathers; Animals

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Archive of Art and Design

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.