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drawing

drawing

  • Date:

    late 19th century (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Museum number:

    BP.1013

  • 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.

This sheet, covered with detailed pencil and watercolour studies of a dead sparrow, as well as rougher pencil sketches of cats and rabbits, sees Potter studying the creatures concerned from numerous different angles. It is typical of her almost scientific approach to the sketching of the natural world.

Date

late 19th century (drawn)

Artist/maker

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

Dimensions

Height: 175 mm sheet, Width: 255 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

Watercolour and pencil studies of a dead sparrow with pencil studies of cats and rabbits (recto), and pencil study of a rabbit lying down (verso), by Beatrix Potter, probably late 19th century; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.119.

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. 21; no. 119
p. 21; no. 119
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; Pencil; Paper

Techniques

Drawn; Watercolour

Subjects depicted

Birds; Cats; Rabbits; Animals; Sparrows; Natural history

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Archive of Art and Design

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