Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case X, Shelf 44, Box A

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) with a Border terrier at Lingholm, Keswick

Photograph
03/10/1897 (photographed)
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.

An artist himself, Rupert Potter (1832-1914) was probably the single greatest influence on his daughter's enduring passion for the arts and natural history and on her development as a writer and illustrator. Rupert took up photography in the 1860s when it was still a relatively new art form and was elected to the Photographic Society of London in 1869. An enthusiastic and skilled amateur, he later contributed to photographic exhibitions. Closely observed by Beatrix, Rupert assisted Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896), a close friend, by photographing backgrounds for paintings and sitters for portraits. Excited by the possibilities of the new art form, Beatrix too became an avid photographer, inheriting one of her father’s old cameras, 'a most inconveniently heavy article which he refuses to use, and which has been breaking my back since I took to that profession' (Journal, Friday 19th April 1895). Beatrix went on to employ photography in the service of her own art and, like Millais, she photographed details, particularly in the Lake District landscapes, that she later incorporated in her imaginative book illustrations.

Rupert's favourite subject was Beatrix herself and during the family's extended summer holidays it was her delight to accompany her father on photographic expeditions. Rupert photographed his beloved daughter at home in London and on holidays in Scotland and the Lake District; formal and sombre among family and friends but relaxed and playful among her pets, as she appears in this intimate photograph taken in 1897 at Lingholm, an estate on the north-west side of Derwentwater, Keswick. Photography was an expensive and laborious process yet she appears to have endured patiently the elaborate choreography and the camera’s uncomfortably long exposure. Rupert's prolific legacy of several hundred photographs forms a broad pictorial account of Beatrix’s life from infancy to marriage.
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
Albumen print on paper
Brief Description
Photograph of Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) seated on a chair on the terrace at Lingholm, Keswick, feeding a Border terrier seated beside her; albumen print by Rupert Potter (1832-1914), 3 October 1897.
Physical Description
Sepia photograph of Beatrix Potter seated on a chair on the paved terrace at Lingholm, near Keswick, holding a plate in her left hand from which she feeds a Border terrier seated on a chair on her right. Potter wears a long coarse woollen skirt and a high-buttoned, puff-sleeved blouse. The partial view of the house in the background includes an open door into the room beyond with a view of a large ornamental swan placed just inside the window. With foliage in the bottom right of the photograph and a vertical drainpipe on the left.
Dimensions
  • Height: 112mm
  • Width: 152mm
Marks and Inscriptions
'Oct 3 1897' (Inscription on verso by Rupert Potter)
Credit line
Given by Joan Duke
Object history
Photograph of Beatrix Potter and a Border terrier at Lingholm, Keswick, taken by Rupert Potter on 3rd October 1897.
Subjects depicted
Place 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.



An artist himself, Rupert Potter (1832-1914) was probably the single greatest influence on his daughter's enduring passion for the arts and natural history and on her development as a writer and illustrator. Rupert took up photography in the 1860s when it was still a relatively new art form and was elected to the Photographic Society of London in 1869. An enthusiastic and skilled amateur, he later contributed to photographic exhibitions. Closely observed by Beatrix, Rupert assisted Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896), a close friend, by photographing backgrounds for paintings and sitters for portraits. Excited by the possibilities of the new art form, Beatrix too became an avid photographer, inheriting one of her father’s old cameras, 'a most inconveniently heavy article which he refuses to use, and which has been breaking my back since I took to that profession' (Journal, Friday 19th April 1895). Beatrix went on to employ photography in the service of her own art and, like Millais, she photographed details, particularly in the Lake District landscapes, that she later incorporated in her imaginative book illustrations.



Rupert's favourite subject was Beatrix herself and during the family's extended summer holidays it was her delight to accompany her father on photographic expeditions. Rupert photographed his beloved daughter at home in London and on holidays in Scotland and the Lake District; formal and sombre among family and friends but relaxed and playful among her pets, as she appears in this intimate photograph taken in 1897 at Lingholm, an estate on the north-west side of Derwentwater, Keswick. Photography was an expensive and laborious process yet she appears to have endured patiently the elaborate choreography and the camera’s uncomfortably long exposure. Rupert's prolific legacy of several hundred photographs forms a broad pictorial account of Beatrix’s life from infancy to marriage.
Collection
Accession Number
E.765-2005

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record createdDecember 3, 2008
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