Friday, March 31, 2017


Review of The Art of Beatrix Potter: Sketches, Paintings, and Illustrations by Emily Zach


The Art of Beatrix Potter: Sketches, Paintings, and Illustrations by Emily Zach

Published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth, this magnificent collection celebrates the artist behind The Tale of Peter Rabbit and numerous other beloved children's books. Brimming with famous images and rarely seen gems—ranging from character sketches and notebook pages to watercolor landscapes and natural history illustrations—this monograph explores Potter's artistic process and reveals the places that inspired her timeless work. Organized geographically and featuring more than 200 images from the artist's oeuvre, The Art of Beatrix Potter includes illuminating essays by Potter scholar Linda Lear, illustration historian Steven Heller, and children's book illustrator Eleanor Taylor. It is the definitive volume on one of the world's most influential authors, a woman whose artistry, until now, has not been fully celebrated.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Chronicle Books
ISBN145215127X (ISBN13: 9781452151274)

Leona's review:

This is a beautiful, hardcover, coffee table book. The drawings takes one to English gardens, and I loved the drawings of the animals and small creatures. Page 194 has "Studies of Kep, the collie". c1907, done in pencil and watercolor. The mouse, page 79 is really cute. There are landscapes as well as indoor and outdoor scenes. There are drawings of plants as well as archaeological tools and bones. (page 127)

I did not know Beatrix Potter was an artist as well as an author. Her books have  been read and cherished for many years.  I personally think of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor when I think of Beatrix Potter. A wonderful book about a woman, her life and her talents.

From page 154. The next page is the art of the gardens done in pencil, pen-and-ink, sepia ink and watercolor. The colors are soft with some red flowers that stand out. There is a garden gate and a pathway with the cat sleeping.

"The Garden at Fawe Park, with visiting cat, unused background for The of Benjamin Bunny, 1903.
In August, the Potter family spent another summer on Derwentwater at Fawe Park, a less formal estate neighboring Lingholm, but still an easy trip to the shores of the lake. The large house was beautiful and comfortable, and Potter was taken by its gardens. With formal flowerbeds and landscaping bordering three sides of the house, the estate also contained orchards and productive kitchen gardens down the hillside toward the lake. Potter gathered her watercolors  and sketches in the Derwentwater sketchbook she had begun, preparing the setting for her next "rabbit book".
Using the Fawe Park gardens for Mr. McGregor's garden in this sequel to The Tale of Peter Rabbit, she portrays Peter and his cousin Benjamin Bunny setting out, while Mr. and Mrs. McGregor went away, to rescue Peter's clothes from the scarecrow that now wears his blue jacket and slippers. That task complete, the two decide to take a present of onions back to old Mrs. Rabbit, but they are soon trapped under a basket by an unknowing cat. The rescuers become the rescued as old Mr. Benjamin Bunny comes upon them and chases the cat away. The naughty bunnies are given a whipping but old Mrs. Rabbit forgives Peter when she sees he has brought back his shoes and coat, as well as the gift of  the onions, which she strings up with her herbs and "rabbit-tobacco".(lavender)"
Foreword: Beatrix Potter's Artistic Spell by Steven Heller    page 6
Introduction: Observation and Imagination by Linda Lear  page 8
A Sense of Place: The Art and geography of Beatrix Potter page 11
Part One: Becoming Beatrix Potter page 17
Part Two: London and the South  Coast page 57
Part Three: Scotland page 93
part Four: The Lake District page 137
part Five: Wales and Beyond page 221
Afterword: An Illustrator's World by Elizabeth Taylor page 240
                 Acknowledgments page 242
                 Bibliography page 243
                 Image Credits  page 245
                 Index page 250
I won a complimentary copy of The Art of Beatrix Potter from LibraryThing and Chronicle Books. The opinions are my own.
I give it a 5 star plus. It really is a beautiful book.
Easter is coming and this would make an excellent book, along with the Peter Rabbit books for the Easter basket for a child or an adult. A gift like this can be read and re-read for many years.
It can also a gift for yourself or someone in your life on any occasion.
Leona Olson

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