The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 1st Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1877
Record 36 of 119

System Number: 12095
Date: 26 October 1878
Author: Walker Martineau & Co[1]
Place: London
Recipient: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALS

'Walker[3] & Co 26. Octr 1878
Whistler v Ruskin'

'Copy sent[4] to Mr Whistler 28 Octr 1878'

W. C.

26th October 1878.

Dear Sir -

Ruskin ats Whistler

We are in receipt of your letter[5] of the 24th instant and will call on you on Monday the 28th at 11 o clock when we hope it will be convenient for us to see you

We remain dear Sir
Yours faithfully

Walker Martineau & Co

J. Anderson Rose Esq

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Walker Martineau & Co
Solicitors for John Ruskin.

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

3.  Walker ... Whistler v Ruskin
Note written on far left of sheet at right-angles, in J. A. Rose's hand. The letter relates to JW's libel suit against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], in response to Ruskin's criticism of JW's works in the periodical Fors Clavigera. On 2 July 1877, he accused JW of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' in a review of the I Summer Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery, London. See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213. The trial took place at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878.

4.  Copy sent ... 1878
Note written in upper left-hand corner of sheet.

5.  your letter
See J. A. Rose to Walker Martineau & Co., #05228, #05229. Rose had written to enquire as to Ruskin's fitness to attend the trial. During the spring and summer of 1878, Ruskin had suffered recurrent bouts of mental illness which stalled proceedings to bring the case to trial several times. Although he recovered, latterly, Ruskin became reluctant to attend the trial at all (see Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 95-96). However, Rose was keen to revive the proceedings as soon as possible.