[Hampstead, London]: , 1890. Item #04185
A Fine Original Pen, Ink and Watercolor for Little Ann
GREENAWAY, Kate, artist. "Dirty Jim". Original pen, ink and watercolor drawing for "Little Ann". Signed with initials at lower left. No date, no place [Hampstead, London, 1883]. Landscape (10 x 8 3/8 inches; 254 x 213 mm.). Image size: 4 3/8 x 3 1/2 inches; 111 x 89 mm.
This fine watercolor appears on page 24 of Little Anne. London, 1883.
"There was one little Jim,
'Tis reported of him,
And must be to his lasting disgrace,
That he never was seen
With hands at all clean,
Nor yet ever clean was his face.
His friends were much hurt
To see so much dirt,
And often they made him quite clean;
But all was in vain,
He got dirty again,
And not at all fit to be seen.
It gave him no pain
To hear them complain,
Nor his own dirty clothes to survey:
His indolent mind
No pleasure could find
In tidy and wholesome array.
The idle and bad,
Like this little lad,
May love dirty ways, to be sure:
But good boys are seen
To be decent and clean,
Although they are ever so poor."
"From early 1883 onwards, Ruskin became the most important influence in Kate's life. He wrote to her "My dear Kate…
when can you come and see Mountain Spring? Another year, you must come for the snow drops; but it must be a year of bright frost, not black rain… April would be best but I want to be sure of you, and I know you cannot command your time in the chances of book work - so I'll fit my plans to yours." …Meanwhile she was bust preparing her next book, encouraged by her recent financial success. In late January Evans sent a cheque for £287.17.6d., marked 'half profit in 76,403 copies of those books in print' - which included recent German editions of the Birthday Book and Mother Goose. She accepted Evans's suggestion and planned to illustrate fifty favourite childhood verses by Jane and Ann Taylor, for a book she called Little Ann and Other Poems. Kate Greenaway arrived at Ruskin's home, Brantwood on April 10th, 1883. …she left , not a fortnight, but nearly a month later, feeling she knew Ruskin the man - an enigmatic figure with piercing blue eyes, a caressing voice and the limitless charm that helped her to overcome her timidity and her desire to return to London. He made every possible effort to make her comfortable, and flattered her by listening to her ideas on art, nature and life… Kate wandered freely about the grounds, drawing flowers or the dancing children of Coniston Hall; her work only occasionally encouraged by Ruskin. Although he had 'all kinds of plans in my head for her', he sank back into a growing moodiness that Kate noticed but tried to ignore." Because of these strained silences, when her visit ended Ruskin was doubtful of its results. He wrote in his diary: 'May 8 Tuesday… Kate Greenaway went home yesterday - I fear not much wiser for her visit. But Kate could only recall her ecstatic happiness at Brantwood, as she wrote to Lily Evans how she regretted leaving… While waiting for news of Ruskin's lecture, Kate accepted further commissions. Austin Dobson, who was by this time a great admirer of her work, persuaded her to illustrate two poems he had written that had been inspired by her children. Their collaborations appeared twice, in the January and the May issues of the Magazine of Art, the latter being a full page verse description of Kate's inimitable world, with Greenaway children scattered in the margin… Kate also worked daily on Little Ann and the year's Almanack, all the while looking out for a letter from Ruskin… but it was Stacy Marks who gave her the assurances that Ruskin now failed to offer. He wrote to thank her for Little Ann, which he thought was 'on the whole, I might say entirely, your best book…"
(Rodney Engen. Kate Greenaway. A Biography, pp. 86-104).
One of the few artists to gain true celebrity from illustrating children’s books, Kate Greenaway was one of the most influential illustrators of her age. Greenaway, along with Randolph Caldecott and Walter Crane, revolutionized illustration. Popular in both Europe and the United States, Greenaway has remained highly sought after, even among contemporary children’s book collectors. (Vic Zoschak).