Roussel, Theodore (1847-1926), 'Laburnums at Battersea', Etching, 1889/1890 and 1898

'Laburnums at Battersea', Etching, 1889/1890 and 1898

Printed on laid paper. Unsigned, with a tab by the artist. From the edition of about 60 impressions. Trimmed to the platemark.

This etching shows Roussel's debt to Whistler and his use of selecting wiping of the printing plate.

Alternative title, ‘Laburnums and Battersea, Corner of the New Bridge While in Construction. Old Battersea Bridge was pulled down in 1879 and the new bridge opened in 1890. Walter Sickert made a line drawing after a painting by Roussel ‘The Plumbago Works, Battersea’ which showed the clock tower and factory depicted in this print. In Laburnums and Battersea the foreground sand heap, with its protective barriers, gives evidence of human activity. This sign, which refers to ongoing efforts to complete the new Battersea Bridge, is doubled by the implication of industry carried out at the composition’s center. The specificity of place in Roussel’s print, together with the repeated motif of moored boats in front of the complex, suggests the activity of commerce along the Thames.

Image Size/ Plate Size 34.2 x 22.1 cm
Reference Hausberg 34, State iv/v
Collections British Museum; National Gallery Australia; MMA.

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