Seymour Haden (1818-1910) Undoubtedly the two most important British etchers of the nineteenth century are James A. McNeil Whistler and his brother-in-law, Sir Francis Seymour Haden. Haden was one of the first etchers of the time to take his plates outdoors and work directly from nature. He encouraged and influenced his brother-in-law to do the same, so much so that Whistler dedicated his first set of etchings, The French Set, to Haden. When Whistler moved to London in 1859 he was a frequent visitor to Haden's household and produced both etchings and paintings of the family members. Several years later, however, serious rifts became apparent between these two great artists. In Paris in 1867 an argument resulted in Whistler pushing Haden through a plate-glass window. Haden and Whistler never spoke to each other again.
Shere Mill Pond, Surrey etching  

Sir Francis Seymour Haden's artistic career is all the more remarkable in the fact that he was an 'amateur'. A leading surgeon of obstetrics, he was educated at Derby School, Christ's Hospital and University College, London. He then completed his medical education at the Sorbonne, Paris and in Grenoble. Haden was a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (1857), a consulting surgeon to the Chapel Royal, vice-president of the Obstetrical Society of London and one of the founders of the Royal Hospital for Incurables (1850).

Island Opposite Boyle's Farm etching  

Seymour Haden's first etchings date from 1843 when he visited Italy, but most of his work in this medium does not begin until 1858. In total he created slightly over 250 original etchings, the majority being landscapes. He achieved an international fame in this area and his landscape compositions are distinguished by his mastery of foliage, water and atmospheric effects. Seymour Haden served as president of the Society of Painter-Etchers, was elected a member of the Athenaeum (1891) and was knighted in 1894. He also received an honorary membership from the Institut de France (1905) and the Societe des Artistes Francais. Haden was the author of The Etched Work of Rembrandt (1879) and The Art of the Painter-Etchers (1891).

Fulham etching