La Tamise, à Battersea
La Tamise à Old Chelsea
Sir Francis Seymour Haden (English, 1818–1910)
Harrington (1910) 52, Second; Schneiderman (1983) 48, X
Overall: 22.3 x 30.5cm (8 3/4 x 12in.) Platemark: 15.1 × 22.2 cm (5 15/16 × 8 3/4 in.) Sheet: 22.2 × 30.3 cm (8 3/4 × 11 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Etching with drypoint
Not On View
A view of the Thames at Battersea with Battersea Railway Bridge in the distance.
It is very difficult to be positive about the order of the states. The print went through many state changes involving considerable reworking: furthermore, because of the plate’s weakness, it began to split during the printing of the Gazette edition, then broke, as Drake and Harrington assert, during the Études printing, which “in part accounts for the fact that the full number of copies  were not issued.”
Haden’s graphite annotations on several prints or in the annotated copy of Drake offer no clear solution to the odering of states. If we keep in mind that for Haden “state” applies only to a published edition, that most impressions of Études were printed on Japan or thin laid (verger) paper, and that Drake catalogues only trial states before the Gazette printing, Haden’s comments are not helpful:
“When a first state of this plate (anterior to the Gazette imp[pression]) can be found - it is by far the best. Some but not many exist both on Japanese paper and on fine verger.”
Could the Études states (VI-XII here) be prior to the Gazette printing (IV here) as Haden seems to suggest? One might assume, as an artist works, that elements are usually added rather than subtracted - that there is a logical case for the cataloguing of the Études states without the wherries in midstream, the signboard and oars, and the sky before those states with such work.
Both Drake and Harrington believed that the Études states followed the Gazette printing. If this is true, and I (Schneiderman) think it is, the question is why the physical degeneration of the plate - which shows as horizontal lines of smudgy ink below the center left of the plate - is apparent on most of the prints published in the Gazette and only on one of the Études impressions.
My (Schneiderman’s) tentative conclusion is that when the plate began to split during the Gazette publication, repairs were made to the plate, but were such that large areas near the center - the wherries, the signboard and oars, possibly the sky and background - were either damaged or defaced during repair. The Delâtre, under the supervision of Haden, began printing the plate in London, for the Études. Haden, standing by the press, made small changes on the plate as printing progressed until it broke beyond repair.
IV. (D1, H1) Published in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, XVII (1864), 274. The wherries in midstream and the signboard are strengthened with additional etched work. Additional work on the parapet and there is a triangle of light at the lower left. The upper torso of the man leaning on the parapet at the left has been completely shaded. There is a shadow of ink (from weakness in the plate) horizontally below the left center.
Schneiderman (1983) p. 137.
State IV is reflected in MFA P11800 and 1973.62. This work, 35.1184, is State X. Descriptions of states V - IX (Schneiderman - 1983) are also included here to provide the evolution of the piece.
V. The plate burnished; the foul-biting and much of the sky and upper half of the plate removed. NYPL-c (“Je propose pour un Second état d’ôter le mur et l’homme au pantalon noir - de fortifier le premier plan qui reste - et de faire fuir les maisons de l’autre côté de la rivière - s. Haden”)
VI. Published in Études à l’eau-forte (No. II). The chimneys and the church steeple on the right, the buildings in the left distance and the boats with tall masts on the left redrawn. A faint sketchy sky with a balloon above the bridge added. The man leaning on the parapet on the left is now smoking a pipe. The man at center foreground is bareheaded. With the inscription Battersea Reach Seymour Haden (E, u.r.).
VII. Published in Études à l’eau-forte (No. II). The man at center foreground now wears what appears to be a turban with a feather, and a black cat stands on the quay wall at his left.
VIII. Published in Études à l’eau-forte (No. II). Additional work in the water and reflections in front of and to the right of the barge near the far bank at right.
IX. Published in Études à l’eau-forte (No. II). There are now vertical reflections in the water at the center. Additional drypoint work in the clouds, especially diagonal strokes at the left and in the smoke. Additional work in the wateer, notably at the left near the masts. Burnishing of work on the quay at the right, primarily the drypoint work; new work defines this side. The upper torso of the man on the right is now shaded and the feather in his turban is clearly defined; its ribs visible. The cat has been removed and is replaced by a monkey holding a sword. With the dedication à Burty (D, l.r.)
X. Published in Études à l’eau-forte (No. II). The monkey changed and is now smoking a pipe.
Schneiderman (1983) p. 137 - 139
In plate u.r. Battersea Reach Seymour Haden; l.r. à Burty
On sheet, in graphite l.r. Seymour Haden
PDP Register entry: Date acquired, 7/11/1935
Bequest of Mrs. Henry Lee Higginson