UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Fantin-Latour, Hélène
Record 1 of 3

System Number: 01083
Date: 12 February 1867
Author: Henri Fantin-Latour[1]
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F14
Document Type: ALS


Mardi 12 Fevr. 67.
Au soir

Mon cher Whistler

tu ne peux pas m'en vouloir de pas t'avoir écrit, ma mère[2] était si malade je ne songeais a rien autre -

Ton tableau[3] tu dois t'en douter, m a plu enormément. c'est bien etrange, je ne m'en doutais pas de son aspect. quand le matin je suis entrer [sic] chez ton frère[4] j'ai fait un Ah!. qu'il est bien et original la tête de la femme en blanc[5] est la meilleure tête [p. 2] que je t'ai jamais vu faire. ma critique est que c'est un peu nuage, c'est comme un rêve l'aspect général du tableau, mais ce n'est pas une critique serieuse, c'est evident que c'est ta personnalité devant la mienne qui est choquée, l'opinion des autres. Manet[6] ne l'a pas vu mais il m'a dit que Stevens[7] le trouvait très bien, et que Tissot[8] est comme un fou de ce tableau il en sautait de joie - attends toi donc de la part de ces 2 messieurs a des imitations. il parait que tu n'as pas été exposé parce que il fallait être invité par le Comité. (pourquoi Stevens ne t a'il pas fait inviter)? [p. 3] Stevens m a dit quil [sic] fallait pour être du club[9] avoir un autre parrain et que quand tu serais a Paris il faudrait aller voir un membre du club. Puis il a dit ensuite a ton frère qu'il fallait des mois de séjour a Paris en somme il me semble que pour un homme qui est si aimable pour toi, Stevens ne t'a pas été très utile je lui est même fait entendre tu en est pour tes chaussettes[10] tu me connais, tu vois d'ici l'accès de misanthropie que tout cela m'a causé. Oh les hommes! les hommes! -

Voyons occupe-toi serieusement de ton exposition universelle. Garde pour le salon ton piano et tes navires dans la glace[11]. tous les autres pour l'exposition Universelle[12]. [p. 4] viens ici quelques jours pour tout cela je le crois bien utile - car vois tu on ne fait bien ces affaires que par soi même. soigne bien tout cela cela peut être très utile pour toi. -

Dit a Dilberoglue[13] quand tu le vois que j'ai fini sa copie mais que j'attends que cela soit sec pour l'envoyer, car il faut rouler la toile sur un cylindre pour l'envoyer. -

Ne peut tu pas me faire acheter les 2 natures morte que Spartali[14] à de moi. J'ai ecrit a Coronio[15] pour qu'il me fasse payer ces 2 natures morte a Spartali - il ne m'a pas repondu il y a tant de Grecs pour qui 800 fr ne sont rien à payer - je les crois bien. - . Oh ils se conduisent bien mal a mon egard.

Adieu

Fantin


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Tuesday 12 Feb. 1867
Evening

My dear Whistler

You will not be annoyed with me for not having written to you, my mother was so ill that I could think of nothing else -

You must know that your picture gave me enormous pleasure, it is really strange, I had no doubt about its appearance. in the morning when I went to your brother's I said Ah!. it is so good and original the head of the woman in white is the best head [p. 2] I have ever seen you do, my criticism is that it is a little cloud-like, the general appearance of the picture is like a dream, but this is not a serious criticism, it is evident that it is your personality meeting mine which struck me, other people's opinions. Manet has not seen it but he told me that Stevens thought it very good, and Tissot is mad over the picture he was jumping for joy about it - so expect imitations from these 2 gentlemen. it appears that you were not exhibited because you had to be invited by the Committee. (why did Stevens not arrange an invitation for you)? [p. 3] Stevens told me that to be a member of the club you need another sponsor and that when you come to Paris you would have to meet a member of the club. Then he told your brother afterwards that you will need to stay in Paris for several months altogether it seems that for a man who is so kind to you, Stevens has not been very useful I have even heard him say that you are only interested in it for your socks you know me, you can see from this how misanthropic this has made me. Oh people! people! -

Now concentrate seriously on your work for the universal exhibition. Keep your piano and your ships in the ice for the salon. all the others for the Universal exhibition. [p. 4] come here for a few days for all that I think it would be very useful - because you see one can only organize these things properly oneself. look after all this very carefully it could be very useful for you. -

Tell Dilberoglue when you see him that I have finished his copy but I am waiting until it is dry to send it, because the canvas has to be rolled around a cylinder to send it. -

Can you not get the 2 still lifes which Spartali has of mine sold. I have written to Coronio so that he can get Spartali to pay me for these 2 still lifes - he has not replied there are so many Greeks for whom 800 fr is nothing - I really believe that. - . Oh they are behaving so badly to me.

Good bye

Fantin


Notes:

1.  Henri Fantin-Latour
Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more].

2.  mère
Hélène Fantin-Latour (d. 1867), née de Naidenhoff, adopted daughter of Countess Zoloff [more].

3.  tableau
Symphony in White, No. 3 (YMSM 61).

4.  ton frère
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

5.  femme en blanc
Joanna Hiffernan (b. ca 1843), JW's model and mistress [more], posed for this.

6.  Manet
Edouard Manet (1832-1883), painter [more].

7.  Stevens
Alfred Émile-Léopold Stevens (1823-1906), history and portrait painter [more].

8.  Tissot
Jacques ('James') Joseph Tissot (1836-1902), painter and etcher [more].

9.  club
This is also mentioned in a letter from JW to Stevens, dating from shortly after this letter (#08145).

10.  chaussettes
JW had failed to find socks of the exact shade desired by Stevens, who was, like JW, something of a dandy; see #08145.

11.  ton piano et tes navires dans la glace
JW exhibited At the Piano (YMSM 24) and The Thames in Ice (YMSM 36) at 85th exhibition, Ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, architecture, gravure et lithographie des artistes vivants, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1867.

12.  exposition Universelle
Brown and Silver: Old Battersea Bridge (YMSM 33), Wapping (YMSM 35), Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38), Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso (YMSM 73) at Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1867. These were large scale and important works, Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso (YMSM 73)having been only recently completed.

13.  Dilberoglue
Staurus or Stavros Dilberoglue (1811-1878), merchant, of Cavafy and Co. [more]. He had commissioned a copy after Paolo Veronese, The Wedding at Cana, 1563 (z7) (H. Fantin-Latour, Copy after The Wedding at Cana, by Paolo Veronese, 1865 (FL.263) (z110)).

14.  Spartali
Michael Spartali (1819-1914), Greek consul in London [more].

15.  Coronio
Georges Coronio (1831-1895), broker, banker and collector [more]. Coronio commissioned and bought H. Fantin-Latour, Asters de Chine et Fruits (FL.277) (z114) (private collection, F.277 as 'Fleurs et fruits') in 1865 (see Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982, cat. no. 32.)