Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 30
Date: 1858/1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 135 x 99 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: ' "Seymour" ' at lower left (2-final)
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 29
Catalogues: K.31; M.32; T.17; W.23
Impressions taken from this plate  (29)
The etching Seymour probably dates from between 1858 and 1859, when Whistler spent a good deal of time with Seymour's parents, Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) and Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908), at their house in Sloane Street, London. He etched their children on several occasions.
Whistler spent Christmas 1858 with the Hadens. He returned to Paris on 12 January 1859 and wrote to Deborah:
'I'm working hard and my stay in London with you and Seymour has done me an immense good in "my art" ... My etchings have been very much admired, and I wish Seymour would send me three fine proofs of each in black ink.' 1

1: Whistler to D. Haden, [12/30 January 1859], GUW #01913.

One of these was probably Annie, Seated [32], which bears a strong resemblance in technique and inscriptions to this portrait of her brother.

However, the etching of Seymour looks as if it was drawn at least in part in the open air. The trees are drawn rather cursorily, but appear to have leaves, suggesting a date between April and October. Seymour is wearing clothes that would appear suitable for spring or autumn, not mid-winter. Thus a date of autumn 1858 or Spring 1859 is indicated.