The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 4th [Exhibition], Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894
Record 5 of 35

System Number: 05610
Date: 27 January 1894
Author: Arthur Haythorne Studd[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S256
Document Type: ALS[2]


Jan 27th. 18934.

My dear Mr. Whistler

I can't thank you enough for your exceedingly kind letter[3]. It is a very great honour to be called a confrere by you & I mean to deserve it by taking the greatest care of your two pictures[4]. 'The Little White Girl' & the Nocturne [p. 2] in silver and gold. I hope you will always regard them as your own property as far as exhibitions are concerned & I shall be glad to send them whenever & wherever you may desire.

I dont quite feel it possible to promise[5] what [p. 3] you ask me at least not before talking it over with you. In fact I gave out when I bought the Little White Girl, as there had been some talk of raising a subscription to present it to the National Gallery[6], to let it be purchased with that object at the same price as I paid.

Please will you let me know if you wish [p. 4] to exhibit either or both this year at the Champs de Mars[7], as in that case I would bring them to Paris. I am thinking of taking a studio in London next winter & so should otherwise leave them at home till then.

Here is a letter from Goupil[8], to which I answered that I would write to you [p. 5][9] myself -

The price they asked for the Little White Girl was 1200£ and 650£ for the Nocturne. I offered £1400 for the two or £1000 for the former alone, the amount to be paid partly this year & partly next

[p. 6] It seems a comparatively small price for two such works of art but to me it was a great deal - considerably more than one year's income.

I did think of offering £1500 -

I enclose another letter from Goupil asking leave [p. 7] to reproduce the two pictures in the Art journal[10] - I was away from home & telegraphed that if you consented I would not withhold the permission.

They talk of the commercial value of the pictures but I need hardly say that it would be extremely repugnant to me to regard them in the light of a commercial speculation & I hope that if I by the purchase of [p. 8] the pictures have acquired the copy right, that you will consent to exercise it as being more competent to do so than myself.

If you have any more questions to ask I should be very glad to answer them quite frankly or if you prefer to refer to Messrs Goupil I will authorise them to give you all the information in his power.

Please will you thank Mrs [p. 9][11] Whistler[12] for her participation in your most kind and flattering letter

I remain dear Mr Whistler with all the respect and affection you will allow me to offer

Arthur H Studd.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Arthur Haythorne Studd
Arthur ('Peter') Haythorne Studd (1863-1919), painter and collector [more].

2.  ALS
The stationery has a narrow mourning border on the first side of each folded sheet, that is, on pp. 1 and 5.

3.  letter
See JW to A. H. Studd, #02671.

4.  two pictures
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), and Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115).

5.  promise
'I wish you would promise me that, if ever you were to be persuaded to leave it away from your own family, you would never present it to any Gallery in England' (see #02671).

6.  National Gallery
Studd eventually bequeathed the paintings to the National Gallery.

7.  Champs des Mars
JW exhibited works including Green and Violet: Portrait of Mrs Walter Sickert (YMSM 338) and Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (YMSM 398) at 4th Exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894.

8.  Goupil
There is a copy in JW's hand of this letter from David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more], to Studd, #02674.

9.  [p. 5]
Studd has numbered this sheet '2', although it is actually the fifth side of text. The printed letterhead is repeated on this page (as on p. 1).

10.  Art journal
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) and Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (YMSM 398) and a lithograph, Nursemaids: 'Les Bonnes du Luxembourg' (C.81), were published in The Art Journal following an article (Anon., 'Art and Mr. Whistler,' The Art Journal, vol. 46, no. 120, December 1894, pp. 358-361, repr. pp. 359, 361).

11.  [p. 9]
Studd has numbered this sheet '3', although it is actually the ninth side of text.

12.  Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].