The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Balestier, Wolcott
Record 1 of 17

System Number: 02649
Date: [April/May 1890][1]
Author: Wolcott Balestier[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L183
Document Type: TLfS/MsD[3]

Page 2.

[...] cover to-day that I may send a sample to Mr Lovell[4] by tomorrow's post so that he may make the covers in anticipation of the arrival of sheets. This, as you will imagine, is important, as we wish, if possible, to bring the book[5] out pretty nearly simultaneously.

Ever yours,

Wolcott Balestier

I am leaving to meet an engagement at 4.15: but shall be here until then.

[p. 2][6] 'As an example of perfect, and of the most refined handling ever perhap[s] exhibited in animal painting, the Butcher's Dog in the corner of Mr. Mulreadys "Butt,"[7] deserved a room of the Academy to himself.

.... and the two dogs in the hay field subject (Burchell and Sophia[8]), displays perhaps the most ...[...][9]... and assuredly the most perfect unity of drawing & colour which the entire range of ancient and modern art can exhibit - Albert Durer[10] is indeed the only rival who might be suggested -


For instance, there are few drawings of the present day that involve greater sensations of power than those of Frederick Tayler[11].

The principle object in the foreground of Turner's "Building of Carthage"[12] is a group of children sailing toy boats. The exquisite choice of this incident, as expressive of the ruling passion which was to be the source of future greatness, in ... preference to the tumult of busy stonemasons or arming soldiers, is quite as appreciable when it is told as when it is seen, - it has nothing to do with the technicalities of painting; a scratch of the pen would have conveyed the idea and spoken to the intellect as much as the elaborate realizations of colour. Such a thought as this is something far above all art -

of the Relative importance of truths:- thirdly, that truths of colour are the least important truths -

J. R[13] - Modern Painters. [(]Chp V.)
vol. 1.'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [April/May 1890]
Dated by the reference to a publication (see below).

2.  Wolcott Balestier
Charles Wolcott Balestier (1861-1891), novelist and literary agent [more].

3.  TLfS/MsD
The first side is the incomplete fragment of a typed letter with ms postscript; the second side appears to be notes by JW, written in pencil.

4.  Mr Lovell
John Wurtele Lovell (1852-1932), publisher [more]. JW's agreement with Lovell for the publication of The Gentle Art of Making Enemies was signed on 29 May 1890, #02645; see also Balestier's letter to JW about a prospectus, 19 June 1890, #02648.

5.  book
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890.

6.  p. 2
Written by JW, except for '1. / 34', written and circled, in the left margin.

7.  Mr. Mulreadys "Butt,"
William Mulready (1786-1863), painter [more]. The Butt, exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, 1848 (cat. no. 160), was praised by Ruskin: Ruskin, John, Modern Painters, London, 1843-60, vol. 2, p. 243.

8.  Burchell and Sophia
W. Mulready, Burchell and Sophia, exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, 1847 (cat. no. 134), and praised in Ruskin, op. cit, vol. 2, p. 243.

9.  [...]
Ruskin's sentence continues, 'wonderful, because the most dignified, finish in the expression of anatomy and covering'.

10.  Albert Durer
Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), artist [more].

11.  Frederick Tayler
John Frederick Tayler (1802-1889), artist [more]. Ruskin, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 38.

12.  Turner's Building of Carthage
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), painter [more]. The painting discussed by Ruskin is J. M. W. Turner, Dido Building Carthage (z217), which had been exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, 1815 (cat. no. 158) and in the Turner Gallery in 1835 (Ruskin, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 33).

13.  J. R
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more].