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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Seymour Haden’s etching, “Grim Spain”, 1877


Francis Seymour Haden (1818–1910)

“Grim Spain”, 1877, printed by Goulding for the Fine Art Society, and published in Frederick Wedmore's “Four Masters of Etching” (London, 1883)

Etching with light plate tone and areas of foul-biting—especially towards the lower right corner—printed in dark brown ink on cream wove paper (Japanese vellum) in an edition of 250 with full margins as published.
Inscribed on the plate at lower left: “Seymour Haden 1877”
Size: (sheet) 24.4 x 31.7 cm; (plate) 15.1 x 22,5 cm
State i (of ii [Schneiderman]; of i [Harrington])

Harrington 1910 186 i/I (Henry Nazeby Harrington 1910, “The Engraved Work of Sir Francis Seymour Haden, P.R.E.: an illustrated and descriptive catalogue”, Liverpool, cat. no. 186 i, p. 94, ill.); Schneiderman 1983 173 i/ii (Richard S Schneiderman, 1983, “A Catalogue Raisonné of the Prints of Sir Francis Seymour Haden”, London, cat. no. 173 i, p. 337, ill.)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“An entrance to a fortification in Burgos, seen in perspective, to left, with two bell towers; a small house behind; below, seen from a distance a partial view of the town.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3245183&partId=1&searchText=seymour+haden+grim+spain&page=1)

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression in excellent/near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, stains or foxing) with full margins as published. At lower right in the margin (recto) there are pencil notations by a previous collector.

I am selling this superb impression with richly inked deep shadows for AU$192 (currently US$144.17/EUR119.80/GBP105.37 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this powerful image with the equally strong title—“Grim Spain”—by one of the most famous of the English printmakers, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
(Note: if this print is sold I may have other impressions available.)

This print has been sold


For those who may be unfamiliar with Seymour Haden’s etchings, the Met offers the following introduction:

“He was one of a group of artists, including James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) and Alphonse Legros (1837–1911), whose passionate interest in the medium led to the so-called etching revival, a period that lasted well into the twentieth century. The extolling of etching for its inherent spontaneous qualities reached its pinnacle during this time. While the line of the etching needle, Haden wrote, was ‘free, expressive, full of vivacity,’ that of the burin [the engraver’s tool] was ‘cold, constrained, uninteresting,’ and ‘without identity’" (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/705277) In short, Haden was a part of the vanguard moment in the 19th century that promoted the supremacy of etching with its greater potential for making immediate and expressive strokes over the established and very long tradition of engraving.

According to the Met (op.cit.), this etching was drawn in Spain and shows one “of the [M]oorish gateways of the castle at Burgos” with “a convent before a row of cypress trees” in the distance.

What I love about this print is the richness of tone that Haden creates in the shadow areas. From what I can see by looking closely at the lines in these areas is that Haden has employed a technique termed “retroussage” (French: “to drag up”)—“a method of bringing ink up from incised lines … [by] dragging a soft cloth across the ink-filled lines prior to printing … [to make] the lines wider and ... [to render] passages darker and richer” (https://intaglioeditions.com/printmaking-techniques-glossary.html).







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