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Print - A Window Seen Through a Window

A Window Seen Through a Window

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, designed and made)

  • Date:

    1897 (made)
    1897-1899 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Roussel, Theodore (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour etching and aquatint;
    Mount - Etching, aquatint, softground and drypoint;
    Frame - Etching, aquatint and softground

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with Art Fund support, the Vallentin Trust and the Friends of the V&A

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This framed print belongs to a set of colour prints made by painter and etcher Theodore Roussel in the 1890s. Each print was the result of considerable experimentation and is printed in colours ground and mixed by the artist. Each is mounted on one of two etched mounts also designed by the artist and printed in a range of colours selected especially for the image. The mounts are paired with two frame patterns again designed, etched and printed by the artist in a range of colours especially selected for the ensemble. According to Roussel, he did this arrangement to create "a harmony of colour, each proof so presented being the result sometimes of as many as twenty four or even a greater number of printings."* The mounted and framed prints were exhibited for the first time at the Goupil Gallery in 1899. This is the only known surviving complete framed set. They came from 'a house in Parson's Green', which is where Roussel lived, and are likely to have been the set in his house.

Roussel was born in Britanny and educated in Paris. In 1874 he moved to England. It was at Whistler's suggestion that he took up etching, developing the master's highly personal and private vision into public decorative works intended for the domestic interior. His approach to colour printing was revolutionary and fundamental to printing in colours in the twentieth century. In 1910 he became the first President of the Society of Graver Printers in Colour. This set, issued at the end of the nineteenth century, has a key place in the development of the print from the private 'portfolio' works to public pieces with a decorative role akin to painting.

Reference: *'Roussel's Note and Catalogue of Original Etchings printed in colours, Exhibited at Goupil's, July 1899', reproduced in Mackay, Appendix III (see references).

Physical description

A partially open sash window with geranium pots on the sill, seen through partially open gauzy drapes of the window opposite, the yellow leaves and white flower of a large plant on the balcony outside are also visible in the centre, shown as shadow through the gauze. The print is surrounded by Shell pattern mount printed in blue and Thames Evening gold, in Lotus pattern frame printed in grey, green and gold.

Four proofs of the frame design are in the V&A's collection, object numbers E.1480-1991 to E.1483-1991.

Place of Origin

London (probably, designed and made)


1897 (made)
1897-1899 (designed)


Roussel, Theodore (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Colour etching and aquatint;
Mount - Etching, aquatint, softground and drypoint;
Frame - Etching, aquatint and softground

Marks and inscriptions

Theodore Roussel


Height: 220 mm etching, Width: 142 mm etching, Height: 504 mm in frame, Width: 418 mm in frame, Depth: 20 mm frame

Object history note

R.P. 90/2347.
Impressions of E.1471-1479-1991 and proofs of the Lotus and Stag and Flower pattern frames were exhibited at London, Goupil and Co., Original Etchings Printed in Colours by Theodore Roussel July 1899. The nine prints E.1471-1479-1991 is the only known set of these prints in their colour frames and is the set referred to on page 18 of Hausberg's catalogue raisonné.
Reported to have come from a house in Parsons Green where the artist had a house.

Descriptive line

Theodore Roussel, A Window Seen Through a Window, colour etching and aquatint, one of a set of 9 colour prints, in 'Shell' pattern mount and 'Lotus' pattern frame designed by the artist; print 1897; frame design 1897-1899.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Mackay, A.E. The Etchings of Theodore Roussel. A Catalogue Raisonné of Plates, States and Impressions Printed in Monochrome and Colour from Original Etchings in Aquafort and Drypoint etc. With the Artist's Notes on Printing in Colour and Formulae of Tones. Unpublished, see registered papers 90/2347. Col. 9.
Hausberg, Margaret Dunwoody. The Prints of Theodore Roussel, A Catalogue Raisonné. Bronxville, 1991, print No. 152, mount design No. 168, frame design No. 162.


Etching; Aquatint; Drypoint

Subjects depicted

Pattern; Balcony; Sash windows; Flowers; Geometric pattern; Plants; Foliation


Prints; Frames; Interiors


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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