Beatrix Potter was influenced by Randolph Caldecott (in whose honor an annual medal is awarded to the artist who has created the "the most distinguished American picture book for children"). This Caldecott illustration, online via Project Gutenberg, is for the book "A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go" (published by Frederick Warne & Co. sometime between 1876 and 1879).


From an early age, Beatrix liked to draw. Because of her father’s interest in photography, she met artists like John Everett Millais, whom Rupert photographed (on the left) at the Potter’s rented summer home, Dalguise, in 1879. (John Bright, the famous orator and member of Parliament, is with him.)

Millais - according to Beatrix’s journal - encouraged her, frequently complimenting her "keen observations." (Beatrix Potter Journal, page 460.) How meaningful such comments, from a well-known artist, must have been!

Beatrix said she was also influenced by Randolph Caldecott, whose amazing illustrations were published by Frederick Warne & Company (and whose work is available, on-line, thanks to Project Gutenberg). It is interesting to examine some of Caldecott’s drawings in light of Beatrix’s later books. From A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go:

Although Caldecott also included people in his drawings, Beatrix thought she was never good at that. Her illustrations were based on nature, as Linda Lear discusses in Beatrix Potter, A Life in Nature.

What made Beatrix Potter a painter of nature? How did she approach her subject matter? Was she influenced by any naturalists who encouraged her work?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Jul 09, 2019

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"ARTISTIC INFLUENCES" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2006. May 27, 2020.
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