Monday, 14 May 2018

Francis Seymour Haden’s etching, “Thames Ditton—with a Sail”, 1864


(Sir) Francis Seymour Haden (aka Dean, H [used for RA exhibitions]) (1818–1910)

“Thames Ditton—with a Sail” (aka ”Le Village de Thames Ditton”), 1864

Etching with drypoint on fine cream laid paper with wide margins.
Size: (sheet) 26.8 x 36.1 cm (plate); 14 x 20.6 cm; (image borderline) 12.7 x 20.5 cm
State viii (of viii) with the “bare strip 10mm. across the bottom of the plate” and the inscription from the previous state with the address of Cadart & Luquet removed.

Schneiderman (Seymour Haden) 68.VIII (Richard S Schneiderman 1983, “A catalogue raisonné of the prints of Sir Francis Seymour Haden”, Robin Garton, London, p. 171, cat.no. 68.VIII); Harrington 73 (Samuel Henry Nazeby Harrington 1910, “The engraved work of Francis Seymour Haden, an illustrated and descriptive catalog”, p. 36, cat.no. 73)

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print from the same state (viii) as this impression:
“The village of Thames Ditton on a river. In the foreground two old trees and a man in a sailing ship.”
See also the description of this print by the British Museum:

Condition: crisp, impression with a bare upper left corner—perhaps resulting from the plate having been inadvertently held before it was printed. The sheet is in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing but there is lightening of tone around the impression).

I am selling this exceptionally fine impression in faultless condition for the total cost of AU$430 (currently US$324.65/EUR270.86/GBP238.76) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable print by Haden with a simply incredible drawing of a tree that goes far beyond a pictorial description of it and from my viewpoint expresses Haden’s intimately personal exploration of what the tree means to him, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold



I love the foreground tree. It certainly is not an objective representation of a particular tree. For instance, the treatment of its upper region is far from being an accurate description of bark and twigs. But this does not mean that the drawing of this tree doesn’t look like a tree. It is a wonderful tree. In fact I wish to go further and suggest that it has what Plato would described as “the tree-ness of a tree.” What I mean by this reference to Platonism is that Haden’s approach to graphic representation of this tree is that he is portraying his intuitive feeling of the universal essence of a tree.

I guess that the reason that this tree is so memorable for me is that the treatment of it is so different to the way that the rest of the scene is shown. Whereas the “rest” of the scene is portrayed in visual terms (i.e. Haden drew what he observed), the tree is portrayed like a blind person might interpret form by sense of touch.

Essentially, the beauty of this print for me is all about the juxtaposition of two intimately connected but different realities: the haptic and the visual.






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