Watercolours

Beatrix Potter was a talented watercolourist, particularly of the natural world, from an early age and her paintings and drawings are now in collections, both private and public, all over the world.

Shown here is a small collection of her watercolours.

 
Ringtailed field mouse
Camfield 1886
Watercolour of Hill Top
from Beatrix Potter’s sketchbook
The Toads’ Tea Party,
c. 1905
Copyright © Frederick Warne & Co., 1955
rose watercolour
Cultural Heritage Digitisation Ltd, London

This watercolour, painted by Beatrix Potter in the 1890s (it is undated), The watercolour was ‘from the collection of Jim and Mollie Gaddum and thence by family descent’. Jim (Walter) and Mollie were the children of Beatrix’s cousin, Edith Gaddum, who lived at Brockhole in the Lake District and to whom she wrote several picture letters. I now belongs to The Beatrix Potter Society and is on long term loan to the V&A where an appointment can be made to view it.

Gwaenynog, Denbighshire,
May 1912
Reproduced here by kind permission of
the Rare Book Department,
Free Library of Philadelphia

William Heelis introduced Beatrix Potter to the Armitt Library, Ambleside, of which he was an early Trustee. Beatrix considered the Armitt, which from the beginning concentrated on local history, art and literature, to be of potential benefit to the area. She felt it was a suitable place to hold her watercolours of fungi and mosses, the microscope studies and the watercolours of Roman artifacts and bequeathed them to the Library before she died. She also gave the Library a selection of her fathers’ and her own books, including some rare volumes.

 

Leccinum versipelle, the Orange Birch Bolete
An important distinguishing feature of some boletes is their change of colour when broken or bruised. The name means changing skin, the cap changing from light to dark orange, while the flesh and stem can even change to blue when cut, as is clearly shown in this painting
Pipistrelle and long eared bats
Beatrix notes that these are long-eared bats disputing with a common bat for the possession of the roosting place. Drawn from tame animals in 1886. Beatrix drew bats and insects as well as fungi at Camfield Place. Purchased December 1991 with a donation from the Beatrix Potter Society.