Simpkin the tailor’s cat goes out into the snow-filled street in this illustration from Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester
, 1903. Set during the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the picture shows the moment the tabby cat is lured outside by the Cathedral clock chimes. This tale was Potter’s second book for children, and reportedly her favourite. It was written and illustrated in and around Gloucester, inspired by a Gloucestershire folktale.
Helen Beatrix Potter
Simpkin Goes Out
Date of work
Original: Ink, watercolour and gouache on paper 11.1 x 9.2 cm Tate. Presented by Capt. K. W. G Duke RN 1946
Helen Beatrix Potter (1866 –1943) was a British writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist. Potter's study and watercolours of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology, but she is best known for the successful series of children's books the wrote and illustrated, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit
, The Tailor of Gloucester
and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
. 22 of her illustrations for The Tailor of Gloucester
form part of Tate’s collection, and can be viewed by appointment in Tate Britain’s Prints and Drawings Room.