Francis Seymour Haden

Francis Seymour Haden, On the Test, etching, 1859

On the Test (Le Crépuscule)

Salaman 10, Schneiderman 24 VI (of 8)

etching, 1859, a superb impression, the 6th state (of 8), on fine crisp antique laid paper, exceptionally dedicated and signed "To F. Goulding / S.H." lower right, and dated "Mar. 5 1878" by the artist in pencil, further signed below the image in pencil "Coll. F. Goulding imp" by the printer, with full margins, two hinges on the upper sheet edge, in excellent condition

The present impression may be considered as a singularly choice proof, as it was presented by Seymour Haden to his favorite printer, Frederick Goulding, the foremost master printer of copper plates at the time in England, and who was Whistler's printer as well.

P. 146x 225 mm.  S. 204x273 mm.

Provenance: the Charles J. Rosenbloom collection (with the CRJ wetstamp in blue lower right, Lugt 633b) and Lucien Goldschmidt (attested by his gallery label affixed to the backing mount)

Considered to be one of Francis Seymour Haden's finest etchings, this atmospheric print represents the well-known Hampshire river at dusk, and exemplifies Haden's artistic commitment to working from nature, contemporary with the Barbizon school in France, and well before the Impressionists. 

It is worthwhile here simply to reiterate Malcolm C. Salaman's account of its creation:

But perhaps Haden's most remarkable achievement at this period was his etching on one day the two important plates, On the Test and A Water Meadow, the latter at noon, the former very late in the evening. We know this from the etcher himself [...] The Test is a favourite Hampshire stream where trout abound, and its waters and banks offered motives to Haden's needle--to say nothing of his fishing-rod—both early and late in his career. These two plates were etched where the river runs near Romsey, and only a master-etcher could have compassed in a single day the pictorial vitality with which in each the landscape and the rainy sky are presented under different aspects of light. Only a master-etcher, I say, and one who enjoyed the doing. 

                                                            -  Salaman 1923:9 *

*Salaman, Malcolm C., The Etchings of Sir Francis Seymour Haden, P.R.E, London, 1923