The Street, Chelsea Embankment


Theodore Roussel (1847-1926), The Street, Chelsea Embankment, etching, 1888-9, signed in pencil on the tab and annotated “imp” [also signed lower left in the plate]. Reference: Hausberg 26, only state, about 40 impressions printed.  In good condition (tiny repaired tear upper margin, trimmed by the artist at the platemark leaving a tab for the signature), 5 7/8 x 8 1/4 inches.  Printed in brownish/black ink on an old laid paper, archival mounting.

A fine atmospheric impression, printed by the artist with an overall veil of plate tone.

Roussel was a student and admirer of Whistler, and, like Whistler, he printed his etchings personally, then trimmed them at the plate mark and left his signature on a tab. This print is illustrated in Lochnan’s The Etchings of Whistler, as an example of Roussel’s work (Lochnan notes that Roussel was so full of respect for the master that he always went bareheaded in his presence). As it developed, Roussel was surely one of the most outstanding of Whistler’s accolytes.

This commercial section of Cheyne Walk was destroyed in 1889, when it was razed in connection with the building of Battersea Bridge. Meg Hausberg, in her superb catalogue raisonne of Roussel’s prints, was able to find the names of each of the shops; the sign board for James Clarke, Dining Rooms; and Mrs. Sarah Weller, Furniture Dealer are both visible in the etching, as is the large News of the World sign above the shop at the far left.