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Sir Francis Seymour Haden

1818 - 1910

Portrait of Sir Seymour Haden by Francis Seymour Haden

Portrait of Sir Seymour Haden   1881

  Original mezzotint.
Ref: Soulier 1904 catalogue no.238.
S 369 x 267 mm; P 248 x 177 mm; I 237 x 175 mm
Original Alphonse Legros mezzotint engraving of Sir Francis Seymour Haden.

Beautiful impression the soft, rich blacks of the mezzotint burr printing dark and strong. A very fine example of this powerful portrait.

One of the few original mezzotints made by Alphonse Legros, this striking portrait of Sir Francis Seymour Haden conveys the profound level of respect with which the talented French printmaker regarded his sitter.

By 1881, when this portrait was made, Francis Seymour Haden was already established as the leading figure of the revival of the art of original etching in England and it is clear from the manner in which he is potrayed in this mezzotint that Alphonse Legros regarded him with reverence. This is a depiction with quiet power designed to inspire awe for the demagogue portrayed.

History has proven Legros to be right in his view, for the contribution of Sir Francis Seymour Haden to the revival of etching as a creative art form in this country cannot be overstated. His magnificent landscape work introduced many of the Impressionist ideals to British etching, especially through his marvellous ability to use the open areas of white paper as the source of light. Haden broke with the Victorian tradition of heavily worked narrative etchings to produce naturalistic landscapes, often using a minimum of etched line. It was through this radically innovative approach that Francis Seymour Haden became established as the leading figure of the British Etching Revival.

A surgeon by profession and a wealthy member of London society, Haden first began etching as a diversion whilst pursuing his favourite pastime of fishing. However, it was to be through etching, especially as founder and President of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, that Francis Seymour Haden was to achieve his lasting fame.

On smooth cream wove paper with full margins. Generally very good original condition.