La Tamise, à Battersea
La Tamise à Old Chelsea
Sir Francis Seymour Haden (English, 1818–1910)
Harrington (1910) 52, I; Schneiderman (1983) 48, IV
Platemark: 15 × 22.5 cm (5 7/8 × 8 7/8 in.) Sheet: 18.9 × 26.8 cm (7 7/16 × 10 9/16 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.
In plate u.l.: Old Chelsea Seymour Haden 1863 Out of Whistlers' Window.
Accessioned January 10, 1973
Gift of Miss Aimée and Miss Rosamond Lamb