Designing the ornaments

Waterhouse was keen to ensure his drawings were scientifically accurate, and this is reflected in his letters of the time, including one in which he wrote to the Trustees, asking for one of the professors to check the detail of his ornaments to avoid error.

Waterhouse sketch

Waterhouse displayed great attention to every detail, as you can see from this sketch of two cats amidst a profusion of plants.

Waterhouse sketch

Waterhouse’s tastes were eclectic and his sketches varied in style, though each clearly demonstrates his artistic talents.

Waterhouse sketch

Every detail was attended to, to ensure a building that truly reflected the magnificence of the exhibits it was to hold.

Waterhouse sketch

While striving for scientific accuracy, Waterhouse’s animal sketches and the finished terracotta ornaments exhibit a personality of their own.