UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Louis Alexander Fagan, 1845-1903

Nationality: Italian
Date of Birth: 1845.02.07
Place of Birth: Naples
Date of Death: 1903.01.05
Place of Death: Florence, Italy

Identity:

Louis Alexander Fagan was a diplomat, writer on art, etcher and assistant keeper in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. He married Caroline Frances Purves.

Life:

Fagan exhibited two works at the Royal Academy in 1887. He was a member of The Arts Club from 1871 to 1903.

Fagan was good friends with JW and in 1877 lent him his printing press, JW printing new impressions from old plates in order to make some money (#09092). He was amongst those proposed guests to a dinner in JW's honour at the Criterion in Piccadilly on 1 May 1889 (#05636). Giving a lecture in New York in 1890, Fagan declared that while Rembrandt was 'the Dutch king of Etchers', JW was 'the American President of Etchers' (#03992). JW described him in 1897 during the Eden affair as a 'delightful authority & perfect friend' (#01633).

Bibliography:

Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Johnson, J., and Anna Greutzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004.