Three Beavers Building a Dam

A work made of watercolor, pen and brown ink, and touches of black chalk, on cream laid paper, laid down on ivory laid paper, with a pieced overlapping border toned with brown watercolor.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of watercolor, pen and brown ink, and touches of black chalk, on cream laid paper, laid down on ivory laid paper, with a pieced overlapping border toned with brown watercolor.

Date:

c. 1800

Artist:

J. H. W. Tischbein
German, 1751–1829

About this artwork

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein experimented with animal physiognomy in many drawings. Inspired by the Swiss philosopher Johann Kaspar Lavater, the artist believed a person’s character depended on the animal he resembled. As Tischbein wrote in 1796, “I have undertaken another [series of drawings] in order to learn more about man. To make this study easier it is necessary to begin with beasts, since they are easier and their characters more evident.” Traditionally busy animals, these furry beavers exhibit human expressions as they focus diligently on the difficult task of stemming an exuberant waterfall.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Wilhelm Tischbein

Title

Three Beavers Building a Dam

Origin

Germany

Date

1795–1805

Medium

Watercolor, pen and brown ink, and touches of black chalk, on cream laid paper, laid down on ivory laid paper, with a pieced overlapping border toned with brown watercolor

Dimensions

325 × 402 mm (primary support); 405 × 479 mm (sheet with border)

Credit Line

Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection

Reference Number

2013.1034

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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