Laburnums and Battersea

Theodore Roussel, Laburnums and Battersea, etching and drypoint, 1889/1890 and 1898; signed in the plate lower right, and signed in pencil on the tab, with the inscription IMP. Hausberg 34, fifth state (of 5). From the total of 60 impressions printed in all states. In good condition, slight soft folds upper left; trimmed by the artist around the platemark, leaving a tab the the signature and inscription, 13 l/2 x 8 5/8 inches.

A fine impression, with platetone delicately wiped so that the area above the buildings in the background, and the area above the sand heap in the foreground are brightened; while the upper sides of the plate and the lower foreground are darkened.

Old Battersea Bridge was pulled down in 1879, and the new bridge opened in 1890; the sand heap in the foreground is a visible sign of impending construction. The buildings in the background are the Morgan Crucible Company, identifiable by the “Italianate clocktower” built in 1862, known in Battersea as Mr. Ted Morgan’s Folly.

Although the composition was basically finished in 1890, Roussel returned to the plate in 1898 to add some closely etched lines in the foreground.

This is the largest of the Roussel etchings, with the exception of the unfinished view of Rotten Row, Hyde Park (Hausberg 31).