PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF ARTHUR RACKHAM (1867-1939) AND THENCE BY FAMILY DESCENT
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).
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