The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Freer, Charles Lang
Record 7 of 374

System Number: 00166
Date: 15 August [1882][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: J. Craibe Angus[2]
Place: [Glasgow]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler A165
Document Type: ALS

13 Tite Street Chelsea

August. 15th. ' '82.'

Dear Mr Crabe [sic] Angus

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your cheque[3], with many thanks. - I would have answered your letter[4] before, but have been awfully pushed for time, preparing to leave town, and obliged to print some of my new etchings of Venice[5], - would you like to have any, by the way? They are very rich in quality, & I believe quite as beautiful as any thing I have ever done. - If there are any amateurs of mine in your country, you had better let me know - - I have also been doing some water-colours[6] - (small) - would you like any of those? - I have no large portrait to lend you for the moment, but if you seriously think that you would have a sale for the "Southampton Water". nocturne[7] which was in the Grosvenor, I might send you that. -

You might ask 200 guineas for it as usual: but if you buy it yourself right out, - you may have it for 130: I have no more proofs from the Carlyle portrait[8], but do you think you could sell the original painting? Carlyle is looking up again, I believe, and even in his own country ought to bring 500 guineas at least[9]. - If you can kindly answer this by return, it will be as well as I am off to Brittany[10] for a few weeks.

Yours truly

J McNeill Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  15 August [1882]
Dated from reference to Grosvenor Gallery (see below). The address indicates a date between 22 April 1881, when JW signed the lease for 13 Tite Street and 1885. ' '82' written in an unknown hand, and circled in pencil.

2.  J. Craibe Angus
J. Craibe Angus, art dealer, of Craibe Angus and Son, Glasgow [more].

3.  cheque
JW had requested payment for a mezzotint of Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) (see below) on 4 August 1882, JW to W. Craibe Angus, #10041.

4.  your letter
Not located.

5.  new etchings of Venice
Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

6.  water-colours
JW had made a number of watercolours in the Channel Islands (M.857-90) and in London (M.862, 874-5).

7.  Southampton Water. nocturne
Nocturne in Black and Gold: Entrance to Southampton Water (YMSM 179) was exhibited at 6th Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1882. Craibe Angus did not buy the painting and it was sold in July 1897 to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more], for 600 guineas.

8.  proofs from the Carlyle portrait
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) was engraved by Richard Josey and published by H. Graves & Co. in 1878.

9.  500 guineas at least
According to M. D. Macaulay, Angus 'had the promise of £100 from Andrew Carnegie, of Pittsburgh, but failed to persuade other 'customers to raise the necessary £400 to purchase the Carlyle portrait' (Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137)). The painting was bought in 1891 by the Corporation of Glasgow and became the first of JW's paintings to enter a public collection.

10.  Brittany
No trip to Brittany is recorded, and it may be that JW went to Holland instead.