Morning haze in Chichester Harbour

Frank Short1922

Te Papa

Te Papa
Wellington, New Zealand

The printmaker and painter Sir Frank Short (1857-1945) originally trained as an engineer but left this line of work to pursue a career as an artist. He attended evening classes at Stourbridge School of Art before moving to London. In London he studied at South Kensington and Westminster Schools of Art, mastering the techniques of mezzotint, aquatint and etching.
Short exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1885 and 1904. He won two gold medals for engraving at the Paris Salon in 1889 and 1900. Soon after this he became a teacher of etching and was professor of engraving at the Royal College of Art between 1913 and 1924. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (now the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers) in 1885, becoming its President between 1910 and 1938. Short was Master of the Art Workers' Guild in 1901 and an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1906, where he became Treasurer in 1919 until 1932. He was knighted in 1911 and was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours in 1917.
Short lived and worked in London and Sussex for most of his life. He was considered one of the leading figures in the field of etching and engraving in the early 20th century, responsible for reviving interest in mezzotint and aquatint techniques.

This aquatint shows Short at his most daringly minimalist. A motor-boat, with two men it it, crosses the harbour, leaving a long wake on the still water; we can also make out distant ships,with sails set in the centre, and another to the left. And that is it. Print expert Malcolm Salaman referred to this plate as an "exquisite spirit-ground aquatint", one in which Short was able to depict light and atmosphere against placid water. A watercolour with this title was exhibited at his Brighton Memorial Exhibition in 1946. E.L. Allhusen, in <em>Some Modern Aquatints</em> (London, 1924), stated that "Nothing more delicately beautiful in the medium has been done" than this aquatint. He believed it was accomplished in only two bitings.


Allinson Gallery, 'Sir Frank Short...', http://www.allinsongallery.com/short/morninghaze.html

Wikipedia, 'Frank Short', https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Short

Dr Mark Stocker   Curator, Historical International Art   August 2018


  • Title: Morning haze in Chichester Harbour
  • Creator: Sir Frank Short (artist)
  • Date Created: 1922
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 350mm (width), 238mm (height)
  • Provenance: Gift of Sir John Ilott, 1952
  • Subject Keywords: Harbours | Boats | people | Reflections | Chichester (United Kingdom) | British
  • Rights: No Known Copyright Restrictions
  • External Link: Te Papa Collections Online
  • Medium: etching
  • Support: paper
  • Depicted Location: Chichester (United Kingdom)
  • Registration ID: 1952-0003-96

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