In this illustration from Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester
, Simpkin the cat sits in a snow-littered alleyway, moodily listening to the sounds of all the animals of the town singing all around him: ‘"Hey, diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle! All the cats in Gloucester—except me," said Simpkin.’ Beatrix Potter’s tale is based on an old Gloucestershire folk tale, and she illustrated it in and around the area itself.
Helen Beatrix Potter
Simpkin in the Snowy Street
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.