Self-portrait

Portrait of F. S. Haden (No. 2), by Francis Seymour Haden (1819-1910). 1862. Etching with Dry-point. 10 5/8" x 7 3/4". Salaman, Plate 19.

A. M. Hind calls Sir Francis Seymour Haden "[o]ne of our most distinguished amateurs and etchers" (172). He was an amateur only in the sense that his professional career was in surgery: he was a vice-president of the Obstetrical Society of London, and, amongst other commitments, consulting surgeon to the Chapel Royal Fund (see "Haden, Sir Francis Seymour," and "Obituary"). But he was a prolific etcher as well, with as many as 235 etchings and mezzotints to his credit, mostly dating from 1858 and 1879, just the period when his medical career was at its height. This etching gives a hint of how the two callings were linked, by his keen eye and manual dexterity. Malcolm Salaman describes it thus:

A vivid self-revelation this of the practical surgeon-artist seated at his etching table with his point in his hand over the copper and his acid beside him, looking obviously into a mirror and searching curiously for the features of characteristic interest in his own frank and resolute countenance. [10]

In his "professional" capacity, Haden deplored that in the training of a surgeon, "nothing is done to educate his eye and hand" (6). In his "amateur" capacity, he founded the Society (later the Royal Society) of Painter-Etchers in 1880. He remained president until his death in 1910, promoting etching as an art form by holding annual exhibitions, by lecturing on the subject, and by his writings, such as About Etching (1879), The Art of the Painter-Etcher (1890), The Art of the Painter-Etcher (1891). He was knighted in 1894, and became a member of the Athenaeum club, though he was never elected to the Royal Academy.

Image capture and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the source and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the image for a larger picture.]

Bibliography

Haden, Sir Francis Seymour. About Etching, Part I. Notes by Mr. Seymour Haden on a Collection of Etchings by the Great Masters. London: Fine Arts Society, 1879. Internet Archive. Contributed by Oxford University. Web. 1 April 2015.

Hind, A. M. A Short History of Engraving and Etching. London: Constable, 1908.

Hind, A. M., rev. E. Chambers. "Haden, Sir Francis Seymour [pseud. H. Dean] (1818–1910), etcher and surgeon." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. 1 April 2015.

"Obituary: Sir Francis Seymour Haden, FRCS." The Lancet. 11 June 1910 (pp. 1653-54). Internet Archive. Web. 1 April 2015.

Salaman, Malcolm C. The Etchings of Sir Francis Seymour Haden, PRE. London: Halton and Truscott Smith, 1923. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Robarts Library, University of Toronto. Web. 1 April 2015.


Created 1 April 2015