Laurence Housman

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter

c.1904

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Medium
Ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 152 x 92 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1924
Reference
N03877

Catalogue entry

N03877 THE RAT-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER c. 1904
 
Inscr. ‘LH’ b.l.
Pen and ink on brown paper, 6×3 5/8 (15×9).
Purchased from the artist (Duveen Drawings Fund) 1924.

An illustration for a book of fairy-tales by Laurence Housman, The Blue Moon, John Murray, 1904, facing p.175; reprinted in A Doorway to Fairyland, 1922, p.101. The story tells how a money-grabbing rat-catcher caught a gnome in his trap. The gnome promised, as the price of release, to make him the richest man on earth, and that his daughter should marry the king's son. The gnome then took Jacome, the beautiful daughter, underground for three years and turned her into pure gold; eventually she did marry the king's son, but the rat-catcher lost his wealth.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I