The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Exposition, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1888
Record 22 of 30

System Number: 00615
Date: 30 June 1888
Author: Theodore Child[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C116
Document Type: ALS

99 Avenue de Villiers

June 30. 1888

Dear Mr Whistler

The surprise[2] has arrived. It is charming, absolutely charming; a vision of the boulevard full of the air of the place with in it just a tang of absinthe perfume and a vague vibration of the voice of the camelot howling his wares. Two trees! But the prodigious part of it to my sense is the passage de l'Opera and the depth of it and the moving figures in the demi-teinte[3]. It is very wonderful and beautiful and gives me great pleasure with its dainty dédicace.

In future I shall be on a keen look out for [p. 2] Whistler with small though unbecoming parcels under his arm: it is good to meet him in such conditions. Once more, many thanks.

The Sarasate[4] photo has come with the etching and in default of remarks of any kind I presume that you wish it to be engraved for the Magazine. Is that so?

Now I wish you would be amiable yet a little while and send me over a photo for engraving of those girls on the balcony[5] with flowers as you promised. Time is passing with it[s] usual rapidity; I am off to Russia[6] Wednesday night or rather to Berlin first and before crossing the [p. 3] frontier of the Czars I want to have your subjects in the engraver's hands. Please be suave and gracious and devote half an hour's thought to this matter. N. B. Why not tell Durand-Ruel[7] to lend us one of those lovely nocturnes[8] e.g. The Bridge or the other one? Do do something and write me a line before I start that is to say at once. My letters will follow me during the next ten days only.

Yours faithfully

Theodore Child

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1.  Theodore Child
Theodore Child (1846-1892), journalist and art critic [more].

2.  surprise
Possibly Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169) or Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170). One of the pictures may have been that exhibited at Durand-Ruel's (see note below) under the title 'Nocturne en noir et or.'

3.  demi-teinte
Fr., half-tone.

4.  Sarasate
Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315). Whilst the painting was referred to in Child's article, no illustration of it was published.

5.  girls on the balcony
Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56). Child had asked JW for photographs of his works for an article he was planning for Harper's Monthly Magazine about American artists at the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1889. See Child, Theodore, 'American Artists at the Paris Exhibition,' Harpers New Monthly Magazine, vol. 79, no. 472, September 1889, pp. 489-521. See also J. R. Osgood to JW, #02041, #02042 and T. Child to JW, #00616).

6.  Russia
Child planned to write a series of articles on Russian art for Harper's Monthly Magazine. They were published in July, August and December 1889.

7.  Durand-Ruel
Charles Durand-Ruel (1865-1892), Paris art dealer [more].

8.  nocturnes
'The Bridge' was probably Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Old Battersea Bridge (YMSM 140), that was reproduced in Child's article. The second nocturne may have been Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100). Both pictures were then on exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel under the respective titles 'Nocturne en bleu et or' and 'Nocturne en bleu et argent.'