Evidence of making can be found in an artist's tools and materials - such as watercolour boxes, paints, palettes, easels and brushes - and also in any picture which shows these, where they are often just a small detail tucked away in a larger composition. The tools of the artist's trade are acquired by museums and registered as objects in their own right, putting them on a legally-protected par with great works of art. And they are acquired for a reason. Putting a picture and a set of contemporary tools together gives a better understanding of both.

image: Detail from A Sketching Party in Leigh Woods, circa 1828, showing an as yet unidentified Bristol artist, by Edward Villiers Rippingille (K3078/30)