Penton Hook

Sir Francis Seymour Haden British

Not on view

Seymour Haden was the unlikely combination of a surgeon and an etcher. Although he pursued a very successful medical career, he is mostly remembered for his etched work as well as for his writings on etching. He was one of a group of artists, including James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) and Alphonse Legros (1837–1911), whose passionate interest in the medium led to the Etching Revival, a movement that lasted well into the twentieth century. The extolling of etching for its inherent spontaneous qualities reached its pinnacle during this time. While the line of the etching needle, Haden wrote, was "free, expressive, full of vivacity," that of the burin was "cold, constrained, uninteresting," and "without identity."
In this work, an ancient, hollow tree leans over a river near a fishing boy. In this state, the hollow tree has been scraped away to leave the center blank. Harrington's early catalogue describes this as "Trial proof (c), the tree-trunk...entirely removed." [p. 34] Schneiderman's later catalogue designates it as state three of six, "the tree trunk...completely removed as well as some work on the extreme right side of the plate and most of foul-bite on the left side." [p. 167]

Penton Hook, Sir Francis Seymour Haden (British, London 1818–1910 Bramdean, Hampshire), Etching and drypoint; trial proof c (Harrington); third state of six (Schneiderman)

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.