Hands Etching – Ô Laborum

Francis Seymour Haden, 1865

WAG 5181

About this object

This was originally created as an illustration for Haden’s manifesto ‘About Etching’ first published in 1866. He focuses on the hands to show the similarities between etching and drawing. The hand holds the needle similar to the way a pencil is held, showing how etching is not laborious like other print mediums. The tools appear small and slender compared with other printing implements such as the burin, chisel or rocker used in engraving and mezzotint. The Latin inscription 'Ô laborum dulce lenimen' translates as 'O Sweet Solace of Toil'.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Francis Seymour Haden (British: English, born:1818-09-16, died:1910-06-01)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Ink; Paper; Etching; Dry point
  • Measurements
    plate mark: 11.5 cm x 15.9 cm
  • Physical description
    View of a hand holding an etching needle. Etching tools scattered in the foreground.
  • Related people
    Francis Seymour Haden (Artist/maker) ; Samuel Henry Nazeby Harrington (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 5181; Accession Number: WAG 5181
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by Dr Henry Nazeby Harrington in 1915
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Samuel Henry Nazeby Harrington

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1915
    Disposal method: Presented to the Walker Art Gallery


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: O LABORUM / DULCE LENIMEN (on plate, top right)
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: F.S. HADEN (pencil, bottom right, BELOW)
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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