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Details & Cataloguing

English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations

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Rackham, Arthur
"'SHOVE THAT UNDER YOUR FEET,' HE OBSERVED TO THE MOLE, AS HE PASSED IT DOWN INTO THE BOAT" (FOR THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS)
245 by 190mm., fine ink and watercolour drawing, signed lower left "Arthur Rackham", artist's name and address on reverse (together with other notes), mounted, adhesive residue at foot of board not affecting image
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Provenance

Exhibited: "Arthur Rackham - Illustrations Drawings and Watercolours" (Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield; Bristol City Art Gallery and Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum), December 1979 - April 1980, item 70

Catalogue Note

ARTHUR RACKHAM'S FINAL DRAWING AND AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE ILLUSTRATION.

As noted by Barbara Edwards, the artist's daughter, on the reverse of the board, this was "the last watercolour ever painted by Arthur Rackham". It was one of sixteen coloured plates in the 1940 edition published by The Limited Editions Club and appears opposite page 18.

As noted by Derek Hudson, "...the last drawing of all to be finished was that of Rat and Mole loading their boat... Rackham's daughter remembers his great exhaustion and the extreme difficulty he had in getting it done. When he had, as he thought, he suddenly discovered there were no oars in the boat. Barbara tried to persuade him that this was a detail that did not matter, but he insisted that everything must be right, and with great labour he altered the drawing and put in the oars. After he had done this, he lay back in bed and said: 'Thank goodness, that is the last one.' And so it proved in every sense" (see Hudson, Arthur Rackham - His Life and Work, London, 1960, p. 149).

English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations

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London