Francis Seymour Haden (Biographical details)

Francis Seymour Haden (printmaker; medical; collector; British; Male; 1818 - 1910)

Also known as

Haden, Francis Seymour; Dean, H (used for RA exhibitions)


Etcher, mezzotint engraver and surgeon (practiced medicine until 1887); b. 1818, London, d. 1910, Bramdean. Studies at Christ's Hospital, University College London, and medical school at the Sorbonne, Paris, and Grenoble. During his stay in Europe, Haden first started sketching while travelling Italy and a number of drawings with Italian scenes, presumably from this period, survive in the collection. Took life drawing classes in Paris believing that drawing would aid precise observation and manual dexterity, skills central to the practice of the surgeon. Although an amateur, Haden is best known for his artistic work as a printmaker and as the author of books on the art of etching. His prints are examples of the British Etching Revival, and bear close connection to those of James McNeal Whistler. Indeed, in 1847 Haden married Debora (Dasha) Delano Whistler, half-sister of the artist. Until a fallout in 1867, the two artists often etched together and seemingly collaborated on a publication of views of the Thames (not completed). In 1880, Haden was founder and president of the Society of Painter-Etchers. He received numerous distinctions and honours, and was elevated to knighthood in 1894. He also assembled a collection of prints by Rembrandt.
Collections of his work in the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, New York Public Library.


William R. Drake, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Francis Seymour Haden, 1880.
Samuel Henry Nazeby Harrington, 'The engraved work of Sir Francis Seymour Haden PRE: An illustrated and descriptive catalogue' (collection arranged by Harrington), 1910.
Richard S. Schneiderman, 'A catalogue raisonné of the prints of Sir Francis Seymour Haden', Robin Garton, London 1983.
Lugt 1227, 1048, 2286 & 2286 (see also Lugt 3553 and 3554 for false marks)

Francis Seymour Haden, About Etching, 1879.
---, The Art of the Painter-Etcher, 1890.
---, The Relative Claims of Etching and Engraving to Rank as Fine Arts, 1883.

Further reading:
Emma Chambers, An Indolent and Blundering Art? The Etching Revival and the Redefinition of Etching in England 1838-1892. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999.
Martha Tedeschi, 'The New Language of Etching in Nineteenth-Century England,' The "Writing of Life", exh. cat. University of Chicago, 2008, pp. 25-38.