The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Exposition, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1888
Record 1 of 30

System Number: 08188
Date: [February 1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: [Horace Henry Cauty?][2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ADS

[circular crest[3] with lion:] SBA

Ask for all my pictures -

Write to

Alfred Chapman[4] . Esq
West Tower.
Oughton - Ormskirk

Leithard [5] [sic] - somewhere about Newcastle Lange Lize[6] girl painting

Peter Taylor[7] M. P. somewhere in Brighton. Valparaiso The Pacific[8]

Deschamp[9] -

Find out and obtain also the Valparaiso[10] -

[butterfly signature]

[illegible] [Nocturne of Valparaiso?]

For America[11] & S B A.

[p. 2] "Nocturne in Blue & Silver[12]" - R. Harrison, 73 Cromwell Rd. S. W. written to[13]


This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [February 1887?]
It probably predates the exhibition of Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Valparaiso Bay (YMSM 76) at 64th Annual Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887, which opened in March.

2.  [Horace Henry Cauty?]
Possibly Horace Henry Cauty (1846-1909), historical and genre painter [more]. In M.1105 it was suggested that this letter was written to David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more]. Thomson was later involved in organising Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892. However, this letter appears to relate to plans for an exhibition of JW's work at the SBA, which was abandoned when his relationship with them deteriorated. Either Cauty, or possibly A. F. or A. J. Le Patourel, painter, acting secretary of the SBA [more], is the likely recipient.

3.  circular crest
Most of the letter is written at right angles to the heading.

4.  Alfred Chapman
Alfred Chapman (1839-1917), engineer and collector [more]. Between 1874 and 1878 Chapman bought Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100), Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Southampton Water (YMSM 117), Blue and Gold: Channel (YMSM 159), Nocturne: Battersea Reach (YMSM 160), Cremorne (YMSM 168), and lastly, Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Chelsea Snow (YMSM 174). Not all have been identified. Chapman lent most of them to Whistler at least once; for instance, during the period subsequent to this letter, Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100) went to Exposition, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1888, and Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Chelsea Snow (YMSM 174) to 3rd Internationale Kunst-Austellung, Munich, 1888.

5.  Leithard
James Leathart (1820-1895), collector [more].

6.  Lange Lize
Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks (YMSM 47). It was exhibited in The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Royal Mining Engineering and Industrial Exhibition, Newcastle, 1887.

7.  Peter Taylor
Peter Alfred Taylor (1819-1891), Radical MP, partner in Samuel Courtauld and Co., silk merchants, and collector [more].

8.  Pacific
Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean (YMSM 72). It is not known when Taylor acquired this - possibly soon after it was bought at auction, London, Christie's, 30 June 1883 (lot 252).

9.  Deschamp
Charles William Deschamps (1848-1908), art dealer [more]. Deschamps had unsuccessfully bid for Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean (YMSM 72) in 1883, but may have acquired it later, and sold it to Taylor (see above).

10.  Valparaiso
Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Valparaiso Bay (YMSM 76). This was indeed borrowed, and exhibited at 64th Annual Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887.

11.  America
This phrase was written in the left margin, at right angles to the rest of the letter, but parallel to the heading on the paper.

12.  Nocturne in Blue & Silver
This line was written in another hand. Robert Hichens Camden Harrison (1837?-1924), collector [more], had bought Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Old Battersea Bridge (YMSM 140) at auction, London, Christie's, 3 April 1886 (lot 120) as 'A Nocturne in Blue and Silver'.

13.  written to
Written in another hand.

14.  drawing
Sketch of 'Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks' (M.1105).