Chelsea Embankment, June, 5 PM


Theodore Casimir Roussel (1847-1926), Chelsea Embankment, June, 5 PM, 1889, etching on old laid paper, signed in pencil on the tab [and also signed in the plate], h: 6 x w: 4 in / h: 15.2 x w: 10.2 cm. Reference: Hausberg 30. In very good condition, trimmed on or just outside of the platemark by the artist except for the signed tab. Archival mounting with window mat.

A fine impression.

This Thames embankment scene was done just after Roussel’s debut as a printmaker at the firm of Dowdeswell’s in the Spring of 1888. This firm was also involved in the marketing of Whistler’s prints; Roussel was of course a Whistler student and acolyte, as evidenced by his approach toward printmaking as well as the reverential trimming of the impression and use of the signature tab.

Roussel was born in Brittany, studied in Paris, but settled in Britain. A painter, he began printmaking at about the age of 40. Beyond his fame as one of the most talented of the Whistlerians, he also gained notoriety for inventing a series of printmaking techniques and approaches, including the invention of an inking method known as the “Roussel medium”, several color etchings, and occasional etching of frames and mounts. Chelsea Embankments was done just before he developed the formula for the Roussel medium, and he used this plate in some experiments with the medium. The copper plate, and a preparatory drawings for the print are now at the Stanford University Museum of Art.