Claire Rome: Animal Illustrations

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This charming collection of monochrome vignette watercolours is by conservationist and professional artist Claire Rome, dating from around the middle of the 20th century. This series of illustrations relates to a story entitled 'By Horse and Lamplight' and conveys something of the artist's affection for animals and the details of rural life.

Claire Rome is best known for her book 'An Owl Came to Stay' (published 1979) - an unusual, utterly charming and heartfelt real-life account of how she created a foster home for injured and orphaned owls at her home in rural Dorset near Sturminster Newton. Remarkably, she lived with the owls, observing and sharing the experiences of these animals which to most people are mysterious, awesome and barely seen. She writes: ‘There is a lot that scientific study and the textbooks have left out… things that only very close observation and sympathy with the living bird can reveal’.