Clifford Ellis (1907-1985)

Bufo the Toad

Pencil, 1940s/1950s

In a Nicholson butt-jointed frame

Provenance: the family of the artist, by descent.

Click here for biographical details and other works by the artist.

Clifford and Rosemary Ellis were famous as a husband and wife team for their fascination with nature and their vibrant and charming depictions of animals. They were the natural artists to be commissioned by Collins for their ‘New Naturalists’ series of books, which have become famous and highly collectable more for the dust jackets designed by the Ellises than for the – otherwise excellent – content. This painting is from a recently discovered series of paintings and drawings, never before seen by the general public, dating from the 1940s and 1950s.

“Old Bufo is the biggest Toad. He is very tame and always knows that when I make a special scratching noise he will get fed.” Clifford and Rosemary wrote a series of illustrated books for young children including this one featuring Bufo. Although never published they are now held by the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath.

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