Original Francis Seymour Haden etching with drypoint.
Outstanding impression of this rare etching, printed in warm brown ink with delicate brown plate tone. All known states of this etching are rare – Schneiderman records a total of only 12 impressions currently in existence.
This splendid etching shows a scene on the river Spey, one of the most famous Salmon fishing rivers in Scotland. In this state the etched work in the sky and on the water is fresh and clear – much of this work was removed in the penultimate state and the plate was then cancelled.
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 Haden became established as the leading figure of the British Etching Revival.
A surgeon by profession and a wealthy member of London society, Francis Seymour 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 F.S.Haden was to achieve his lasting fame.
This plate distills Francis Seymour Haden’s combined love of etching and angling to perfection. Haden would work directly onto the prepared plate, from life, whilst sitting at the water’s edge waiting for the fish to bite. Indeed, he regarded fishing as entirely compatible with his practise of etching – Haden is recorded to have expressed the opinion that “Angling has a peculiar charm for men of powerful and active intellect... because it calls into play all the powers of observation”.
This marvellous fishing scene is one of the finest of all of Francis Seymour Haden’s fishing images. It remains amongst the most scarce of all of the artist’s etched works.
On warm white laid paper, with elaborate armorial crest watermark, with margins as prepared by the artist. Excellent condition.