Whistler's House, Old Chelsea

Whistler's House, Old Chelsea (No. 2), by Francis Seymour Haden (1819-1910). 1863. Etching. 13 1/8" x 7". Salaman, Plate 27.

Malcolm Salaman describes this as "one of Haden's very best etchings," quoting the artist as saying, "Great care was taken in the drawing, especially in the foreshortening of the barges, which gave me infinite trouble, I remember. It wore out very soon, and had to be destroyed before it had given its full quota of impressions" (12). As in other works of this period, Whistler's influence can be felt. In fact, "there are traces of a mutual influence," natural insofar as the two brothers-in-law seem to have been "working on a joint project to publish etchings of the Thames in 1863" (Hind and Chambers). Unfortunately, this was abandoned. The Pennells, in their life of Whistler, explain that as time went by the two men's relations "had become strained, both being of strong character. Haden had had much to put up with, while Whistler, the artist, resented the criticism of Haden, the surgeon" (75). They finally fell out in a bitter row in 1867 (see Pennell 100), which ended with Haden's being pushed through a plate-glass window. but there are still many etchings of the river in both their oeuvres.

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.]


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.

Pennell, E. R. and J. The Life of James McNeill Whistler. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1911. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Universal Digital Library. 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