The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 4th [Exhibition], Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894
Record 1 of 35

System Number: 05434
Date: [October 1887?][1]
Author: Walter Richard Sickert[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S78
Document Type: ALS



My dear Jimmy

I enclose a cheque for £42. 10. the balance for Nellie's portrait[3].

Of course it is impossible to thank you at all for doing us such a work. We shall always look upon it as practically a magnificent present. Either it is that; or I may congratulate myself on something approaching very nearly to a Howellian[4] smartness: for certainly the moneys are ludicrous, & bear no sort of proportion to the value of the work.

This leaves me indebted to you for £52..10 for my portrait[5], to complete the 200 guineas.

[p. 2] Will you also tell your framemaker[6] to send me in his bill for the frame -

Always and entirely
Grateful & devoted

W. S.

(Pupil of Whistler)

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [October 1887?]
Dated from reference to the completion of a portrait (see below).

2.  Walter Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

3.  Nellie's portrait
JW painted two portraits of Ellen Melicent Sickert (1848-1914), née Cobden, writer [more], who started posing in December 1885. Arrangement in Violet and Pink: Mrs Walter Sickert (YMSM 337) was just completed for exhibition in 64th Annual Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887. A second portrait, Green and Violet: Portrait of Mrs Walter Sickert (YMSM 338), may have been started at about the same time, and completed for exhibition in 4th Exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894.

4.  Howellian
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]. He helped JW to raise money using his paintings as security and acquired several and paid for some works by JW.

5.  my portrait
This may be a reference to a full length Portrait of Walter Sickert (YMSM 349), which was being painted by the summer of 1886 but was probably not completed, and has since disappeared. There are also two studies of Sickert's head and shoulders alone, Sketch Portrait of Walter Sickert (YMSM 350), Portrait Sketch of Walter Sickert (YMSM 351).

6.  framemaker
Not identified.