Drawing thumbnail 1
Drawing thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Drawing

02/09-1897-03/09/1897 (drawn)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Beatrix Potter began drawing fungi from around 1885 but knew little of the science behind them. She began exchanging letters with Charles McIntosh (1839–1922), a postman from Inver in Perthshire, who was also an expert on ferns, mosses and fungi. Potter knew him from her holidays in Perthshire as a young girl. When staying in Dunkeld in 1892 (aged 26), she arranged a proper meeting with him to show him her drawings. Although naturally shy, he became lively on the subject of fungi, talking with ‘poetical feeling about their exquisite colours.’ They began exchanging letters. McIntosh sent her samples of mushrooms he had found and, in exchange, she sent him copies of her drawings of them. At first she referred to the specimens by appearance (‘spluttered candle’) or smell (‘exactly like a dead sheep’) but soon developed knowledge of the subject. McIntosh advised her to show present her drawings more scientifically instead of drawing them as she found them in the gound. As her knowledge grew, Beatrix exchanged theories with McIntosh on mushroom reproduction. By around the time of this drawing, Beatrix had become interested in on particular branch of mushroom, Agarics, and began experimenting in their germination to write an essay on the subject.
interact Beatrix Potter: a life drawing nature
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour and white heightening over pencil on paper
Brief Description
Examples of Yellow Grisette (Amanita crocea) and examples of Scarlet Fly Cap (Amanita muscaria), watercolour over pencil, by Beatrix Potter, Ullock, 1897, Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.292
Physical Description
Drawing in watercolour over pencil of two types of fungi. Two examples of a Yellow Grisette (Amanita crocea) are shown on the left, a tall thin specimen on the far side with a shorter stumpier specimen beside. Both have smooth yellow/orange caps, peeling stems and gills visible on the underside of the specimen on the far left. On the right are specimens of the Scarlet Fly Cap (Amanita muscaria). The caps are red with evidence of white spores on them. The left hand sample is mid size with a rounded cap. The middle specimen has a more level, wide cap with gills visible on the underside. There is a small indication of foliage and then a cross section of the same fungus on the right.
Dimensions
  • Height: 304mm
  • Width: 430mm (Note: Size of paper)
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Ullock - Sep 2nd '97' (In pencil within specimens of Yellow Grisette.)
  • 'Sep 3- 97' (In pencil within specimens of Scarlet Fly cap.)
Credit line
Linder Bequest [plus object number; written on labels on the same line as the object number]
Object history
Drawn by Beatrix Potter in Ullock, 2-3 September 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.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Beatrix Potter began drawing fungi from around 1885 but knew little of the science behind them. She began exchanging letters with Charles McIntosh (1839–1922), a postman from Inver in Perthshire, who was also an expert on ferns, mosses and fungi. Potter knew him from her holidays in Perthshire as a young girl. When staying in Dunkeld in 1892 (aged 26), she arranged a proper meeting with him to show him her drawings. Although naturally shy, he became lively on the subject of fungi, talking with ‘poetical feeling about their exquisite colours.’ They began exchanging letters. McIntosh sent her samples of mushrooms he had found and, in exchange, she sent him copies of her drawings of them. At first she referred to the specimens by appearance (‘spluttered candle’) or smell (‘exactly like a dead sheep’) but soon developed knowledge of the subject. McIntosh advised her to show present her drawings more scientifically instead of drawing them as she found them in the gound. As her knowledge grew, Beatrix exchanged theories with McIntosh on mushroom reproduction. By around the time of this drawing, Beatrix had become interested in on particular branch of mushroom, Agarics, and began experimenting in their germination to write an essay on the subject.
Bibliographic Reference
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.33, cat. no. 292, and facing p.40, Plate XII
Other Number
LB.292 - Linder Bequest catalogue no.
Collection
Library Number
BP.244

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record createdJanuary 21, 2014
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