The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 2nd Exhibition, Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1899
Record 17 of 54

System Number: 09959
Date: [28 April 1899][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: John Lavery[2]
Place: London
Repository: Tate Gallery Archives
Call Number: Lavery Collection, TGA 7245/272
Document Type: ALS[3]

My dear Lavery -

I enclose some text and quotation I want put at once into the revised Edition of Catalogue[4] as it comes out - and of course also in the larger Edition -

A propos of this, what do you [p. 2] say to the Admiral's[5] distinguishing himself as he seems to have done! -

Let me hear -

Always sincerely
and with the most charming remembrances of my visit to you,

J McNeill Whistler

P. S. Certainly object to the taking into the affairs of the Society, Mr Hayes[6] in any capacity whatever[7]!

110. Rue du Bac -

[p. 3] To come after 133 8 in Catalogue[8]

Times of today: ... " The vanished hand which drew the 'Symphony in White[9]' and 'Miss Alexander'[10] " -

Times of the moment of the 'Symphony in White' and 'Miss Alexander' - :

"His portrait of Miss Alexander is certainly one of the strangest and most excentric [sic] specimens of portraiture.... We should imagine he had merely made a sketch and left it, before the colours were dry, in a room where the chimney sweep's are were at work..."

"A child's portrait ... uncompromisingly vulgar." -

"Before such pictures as the full length portraits by Mr Whistler, critic and spectator are alike puzzled! ..... After all, there are certain canons about what constitutes good drawing, good colour, and good painting, and when an artist deliberately sets himself to ignore or violate all of these, it is desirable that his work should not be classed with that of ordinary artists." (sic!) The Times

"Other Times, other lines!"

J. McN. W.

The underlined in italics - the rest in small print but not the very smallest. 'Brevier'[11]

This document is protected by copyright.


John Lavery Esq
5 - Cromwell Place
London. W.
[postmarks x 3:] PARIS-80 / R. DU BAC / F 28 / AVRIL / 99
[postmark on verso:] SOUTH KENSINGTON. S. W. / 9 AM / AP 29 99 / 3
[postmark on verso:] LONDON / 34 / 7 30 AM / AP 29 / 99


1.  [28 April 1899]
Dated from the postmark.

2.  John Lavery
John Lavery (1856-1941), painter [more].

3.  ALS
Written on deep bordered mourning paper. The paper of p. 3 has been heavily folded.

4.  Catalogue
The catalogue of the 2nd Exhibition, Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1899.

5.  Admiral's
Admiral Friedrich ('Frederick') Augustus Maxse (1833-1900), political writer [more]. See the letter from F. Howard to F. A. Maxse, 25 April 1899, #02345.

6.  Mr Hayes
Possibly Edwin Hayes (1819-1904), marine painter [more].

7.  in any capacity whatever
Triple underlined.

8.  in Catalogue
The lines 'To come after ... in Catalogue' are written in the top margin.

9.  Symphony in White
Probably Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38).

10.  'Miss Alexander'
Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129).

11.  very smallest. 'Brevier'
The lines "The underlined ... very smallest. 'Brevier'" are encircled and written in the left-hand margin. 'Brevier' is in another hand; it is a variety of type font used for printing.