Beatrix Potter – The Landscape That Inspired
28th July 2016 saw the 150th anniversary of the birth of Helen Beatrix Potter, the English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist best known for her richly illustrated series, 23 in all, of children’s books of those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Her father, Rupert was an adept amateur photographer starting before his marriage and being more engaged in photography during family holidays in particular to Scotland and the Lake District. In 1869 he was elected to the Photographic Society of London becoming a regular contributor to its annual exhibitions as early as 1873.
Beatrix often went with her father on his photography outings, absorbing the rudiments of photography and composition. She was often the subject and patient sitter for her father’s portraits. Beatrix herself became a proficient photographer using the camera to record landscape and nature that she wished to draw later. “She discovered for herself that the view through the camera’s lens provided a different way of seeing nature and of recording reality.” Linda Lear, Beatrix Potter
The series of images capture 150 years after Potter’s birth parts of the Lake District landscape that inspired her creative output of drawings, paintings, photographs, watercolours and stories.
Potter left almost all of her original illustrations to The National Trust and all her property to the National Trust, including over 4,000 acres (16 km2) of land, sixteen farms, cottages and herds of cattle and Herdwick sheep.