A Book of British Etching: From Francis Barlow to Francis Seymour Haden

By Walter Shaw Sparrow | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
HADEN'S NINETY-TWO YEARS

I

HAVE you ever thought of Haden's life, from 1818 to 1910, in its relations to British etching? If not, you will find it worth while. There are etchers of several groups. Some were born during the later half of the eighteenth century, like Robert Hills and William Delamotte, and died in the earlier half of Haden's life, after connecting him with that pioneering which could be followed back in gradual changes of style to Barlow and Hollar. In other groups are etchers born early in the nineteenth century, who either died young, like E. T. Daniell, or lived through many years contemporary with Haden, dying in the third or fourth decade of Victoria's reign, like Thomas Creswick and William Dyce. Then there are later Victorians, who, after their first efforts, got firmly into their stride, like D. Y. Cameron, and Muirhead Bone, and Frank Brangwyn; or like Charles Holroyd, who died seven years after Haden, and William Strang, whose career ended in 1921, two years earlier than that of Alfred Bentley, an able landscapist. Our living etchers can and should regard Haden as their grandfather, or great-grandfather, in that nineteenth-century advance of original etching, which they inherited, and still continue to enrich.

He lived through nine years of William Blake's seventy, through thirty-three years of Turner's seventy-six, and through twenty-six of Andrew Geddes's briefer career. Six years before Haden's birth, in 1812, two pioneering amateurs of genius, Clerk of Eldin and Lord Aylesford, passed away: Aylesford at sixty-one, and Clerk at eighty- four. Three years later, in the year of Waterloo, the most original of English caricaturists, James Gillray, died insane, leaving a prodigious

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