The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Mackmurdo, Arthur Heygate
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System Number: 02293
Date: 10 April 1898
Author: Albert Ludovici[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler I33
Document Type: ALS


My dear Whistler -

Your telegram reached me before the meeting, but not in time to stop the election on to the Council of Shannon[2], who arrived during the discussion I was having with the members. They had not recieved any letter from you - but it seems that some time back, you had written to Howard[3] sanctioning the election of Shannon on to the Council, and there he sat - however - Lavery[4] is or has written to you about all the [p. 2] proceedings; so will not trouble you further on that question -

The Admiral[5] I saw for a few minutes and he opened big eyes, when I told him that you ignored Mortimer M.[6] then he informed me that M. M. had invented some way of doing coloured estampes[7], to which I responded that there was nothing new in that, and that for years they had been working at those estampes in Paris - and that I had 54. of them coming over - then he fell back on some house that M. M. had built in Cadogan Sq[8] - and so it all ended - Pennell[9] - was very anxious to hear all about you, so we supped [p. 3] together after the meeting, and naturally talked about you - and my doings in Paris - which by the way interested the members of the Council, and in a half hearted way - Lavery - said that he thought they ought owed me - some thanks, which I did not want, having satisfied our President - I told them all, how I had found you in bed with the Dr. calling every day - then Howard was amusingly naïf - a propos of Shannon - he said Mr. Ludovici, I hope you will not influence Mr. Whistler against him, as he seems to wish to do every thing in his power - for the Society. So I told them all, that I never had the presumption, of ever influencing Mr. Whistler in any thing, and was quite sure that neither I or any body - could - (ceci entre nous[10]). We meet again next Thursday - when I hope all the business part - will be settled, also the Insurance - of pictures - I had a superb crossing - like a lake - the [p. 4] [sun] shining brilliantly the whole time -

My kindest regards to Mrs. & Miss Phillip[11] and tell them that I found London very smoky and dirty after Paris.

Let me know what you will send and what price for Insurance - so that I can send our Agent in Paris for your work.

My Wife[12] sends ses meilleurs compliments
and I remain
yours very devoted,

A. Ludovici

April 10th 1898.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Albert Ludovici
Albert Ludovici, Jr (1852-1932), painter [more]. Ludovici was on the Council of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers. He had just been to Paris to contact artists and dealers, arranging for loans to their first exhibition.

2.  Shannon
James Jebusa Shannon (1862-1923), genre and portrait painter [more]. JW objected to his membership of the ISSPG because he was also a member of the Royal Academy. Eventually he had to resign from the Committee but remained an Honorary member.

3.  Howard
Francis Howard (1874-1954), painter, art critic and collector [more].

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

5.  Admiral
Admiral Friedrich ('Frederick') Augustus Maxse (1833-1900), political writer [more]. Maxse was proprietor of the Prince's Rink Skating Club where the ISSPG held its first exhibition in May 1898.

6.  Mortimer M.
Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938), artist [more]. JW had quarrelled with Menpes some years previously and objected to his presence (F. A. Maxse to JW, #02337). The matter was raised again in the following year and JW agreed to let the Council decide, but, in the end, Menpes did not exhibit with the ISSPG (see F. A. Maxse to JW, 30 March and 4 April [1899], #02337, #02339; and JW's reply, 6 [April] 1899, #02340; J. Howard to JW, 25 and 26 April 1899, #02345 and #02346; J. Lavery to JW, 27 April 1899, #09958).

7.  estampes
Fr., prints; after inking the copper-plate in the normal way, Menpes applied colours over the plate surface, to good effect. It was a time consuming process, akin to making monoprints, but not unlike JW's method of printing with ink tone in such etchings as Nocturne (K.184).

8.  Cadogan Square
Menpes's Japanese style house at 25 Cadogan Gardens. Designed by Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, with interior fittings built in Japan, it opened in July 1899. It was featured in the Studio magazine (Anon., 'An Experiment in the Application of Japanese Ornament to the Decoration of an English House,' The Studio: an illustrated magazine of fine and applied art, vol. 17, 1899, pp. 170-78).

9.  Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

10.  ceci entre nous
Fr., this is between ourselves.

11.  Mrs. & Miss Phillip
Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more]; and Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

12.  My Wife
Marie Ludovici (b. ca 1852), wife of the painter Albert Ludovici, Jr.