Sir Francis Seymour Haden (September 16, 1818 — June 1, 1910), was an English surgeon, best known as an etcher.
He was born in London, his father, Charles Thomas Haden, being a well-known doctor and lover of music. He was educated at Derby School, Christ’s Hospital, and University College, London, and also studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, where he took his degree in 1840. He was admitted as a member of the College of Surgeons in London in 1842.
Haden’s printmaking was invigorated by his much younger brother-in-law, James Whistler, at the Haden home in Sloane Street in 1855. A press was installed there and for a while Haden and Whistler collaborated on a series of etchings of the Thames. The relationship and project did not last.
Haden followed the art of original etching with such vigor that he became not only the foremost British exponent of that art but brought about its revival in England. His strenuous efforts and perseverance, aided by the secretarial ability of Sir WR Drake, resulted in the foundation of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers. As president he ruled the society with a strong hand from its first beginnings in 1880.
Notwithstanding his study of the old masters of his art, Haden’s own plates were very individual, and are particularly noticeable for a fine original treatment of landscape subjects, free and open in line, clear and well divided in mass, and full of a noble and dignified style of his own. Even when working from a picture his personality dominates the plate, as for example in the large plate he etched after J.M.W. Turner’s “Calais Pier,” which is a classical example of what interpretative work can do in black and white. Of his original plates, more than 250 in number, one of the most notable was the large “Breaking up of the Agamemnon.”
An early plate, rare and most beautiful, is “Thames Fisherman”. “Mytton Hall” is broad in treatment, and a fine rendering of a shady avenue of yew trees leading to an old manor-house in sunlight. This is among one of the rarest and most beautiful of his plates is notable examples of his genius.
A catalogue of his works was begun by Sir William Drake and completed by Harrington in 1880. During later years Haden began to practise the sister art of mezzotint engraving, with a measure of the same success that he had already achieved in pure etching and in dry-point.
Here we have a lovely Impression of Seymour Haden pencil-signed “Mytton Hall” etching and dry point.
Signed in pencil. Catalog reference S19. Executed in 1859, this is a rich, dark impression on thin Japon paper. Size: 4 7/8 x 10 3/4 inches; faint light foxing and comes professionally framed, ready to grace your halls for many years of great enjoyment.