Sty Head Tarn thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Sty Head Tarn

Drawing
ca. 1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.

Beatrix Potter visited the Victoria and Albert Museum (then known as the South Kensington Museum) while living in London; it was close to her home in Bolton Gardens, South Kensington. This watercolour and pencil drawing of Styhead Tarn in Borrowdale, the Lake District, is a copy that she made of a drawing she saw during one of her visits to the museum; John Constable’s Sty Head Tarn (museum number 177-1888). Potter’s copy was probably made in around 1900, a century later than Constable’s tour of the Lake District in 1806, when he made his sketch of the tarn. Reflecting on her artwork in 1943, Beatrix Potter called a suggestion that her painting style had been founded on Constable ‘silly’, but referred to him as ‘a great artist with a broad style’.

The scene shows Styhead Tarn with three great mountain peaks beyond; Great End, Scafell Pike and Lingmell.
read Introducing Beatrix Potter Beatrix Potter remains one of the world's best-selling and best-loved children's authors. She wrote and illustrated 28 books, including her 23 Tales which have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. In her later years, she became a farmer and sheep breeder and helped protect thousand...
object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
watercolour over pencil on paper
Brief Description
Watercolour drawing of Styhead Tarn in Borrowdale, the Lake District, a copy after John Constable's watercolour 'Sty Head Tarn' of 1806 (also in the V&A collection), made by Beatrix Potter, ca. 1900, Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.1132
Physical Description
A watercolour in narrow landscape format showing a tarn with three mountain peaks beyond, with a figure in the lower left, completed in watercolour over pencil using a muted palette of browns, purples, blues and green.
Dimensions
  • Sheet height: 11.4cm
  • Sheet width: 25.3cm
Styles
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
'Copy - from a sketch by Constable, at S. K. museum' (inscribed lower right in pencil by the artist)
Credit line
Linder Bequest [plus object number; written on labels on the same line as the object number]
Object history
Drawn by Beatrix Potter at the V&A (then South Kensington Museum) ca. 1900. 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
Places Depicted
Summary
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.



Beatrix Potter visited the Victoria and Albert Museum (then known as the South Kensington Museum) while living in London; it was close to her home in Bolton Gardens, South Kensington. This watercolour and pencil drawing of Styhead Tarn in Borrowdale, the Lake District, is a copy that she made of a drawing she saw during one of her visits to the museum; John Constable’s Sty Head Tarn (museum number 177-1888). Potter’s copy was probably made in around 1900, a century later than Constable’s tour of the Lake District in 1806, when he made his sketch of the tarn. Reflecting on her artwork in 1943, Beatrix Potter called a suggestion that her painting style had been founded on Constable ‘silly’, but referred to him as ‘a great artist with a broad style’.



The scene shows Styhead Tarn with three great mountain peaks beyond; Great End, Scafell Pike and Lingmell.

Bibliographic References
  • 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.134; no.1132Hobbs, 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.134; no.1132
  • Beatrix Potter: artist & illustrator Frederick Warne & Co Ltd, 2005p.178 (reproduced); p.179Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, Beatrix Potter: artist & illustrator Frederick Warne & Co Ltd, 2005, p.178 (reproduced); p.179
Other Number
LB.1132 - Linder Bequest catalogue no.
Collection
Library Number
BP.308

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 10, 2015
Record URL