Accession Number


James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
etching and drypoint, printed in black ink on laid paper

8 1/2 x 5 9/16 in. (21.5 x 14.1 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Jean Paul Slusser Memorial Fund

Label copy
Seymour Standing Under a Tree
Second state of three (Kennedy 31)
Museum purchase made possible by the Jean Paul Slusser Memorial Fund, 1988/2.22
Sir Francis Seymour Haden
Great Britain, 1818–1910
Kensington Gardens
Etching and drypoint
Museum purchase, 1990/2.36
Whistler’s brother-in-law, Seymour Haden, a surgeon and amateur printmaker and collector, encouraged him to etch from nature, and they often sketched together. On excursions to the parks in and around London, they worked directly on their prepared etchings plates, which they later printed on the press in Haden’s house. Whistler’s portrait of Haden’s son Seymour and Haden’s etching of Kensington Gardens were most likely executed during such an excursion. While similarities between the subject matter and etching styles of the two men are readily apparent, the delicacy of Whistler’s work shows that with his lighter touch he may already at this point have surpassed his mentor. This early work also shows his characteristic sharp focus on specific elements of the image and the rendering of others in a more summary manner, creating a more dynamic work than does Haden’s very even rendering of the scene.

Subject matter
Whistler and his brother-in-law, Francis Seymour Haden sketched together in London, frequently in Greenwich Park. Despite the urban setting, this etching of Whistler's nepher, Seymour, conveys the sense of reverie in a country setting.

Physical Description
A young boy stands in profile, leaning against the trunk of a tree set in a woods with reflections in the foreground of a pond or small stream. The boy faces the light, casting deep shadows against the tree, and looks upwards.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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St. Jerome
St. Joseph

& Author Notes

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