The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Deschamps, Charles William
Record 13 of 54

System Number: 00576
Date: 5 July 1876
Author: Alfred Chapman[1]
Place: Liverpool
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C77
Document Type: ALS


5 July 1876

Dear Jim,

Before I left London I went to Deschamps Gallery[2] [and] saw your pictures[3] there - they are charming but times are too bad at present to allow me to think of going in wholesale for things of beauty tho' they be a joy forever[4] -

[p. 2] I should very much like to have the "Blue Waves"[5] to put alongside of Southampton Water[6] - but can only [offer] sixty guineas for it.

I hope for your own sake that times may be better with the good folks in London than they are here & that some one with more knowledge & power than myself will offer you double[.] of one thing however I am certain[:] they cannot admire the picture more than

yours sincerely

Alfred Chapman

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1.  Alfred Chapman
Alfred Chapman (1839-1917), engineer and collector [more].

2.  Deschamps Gallery
Charles William Deschamps (1848-1908), art dealer [more]. The 12th Exhibition of the Society of French Artists had opened at 168 New Bond Street.

3.  pictures
Chapman probably saw Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100) (exhibited as Nocturne in Blue and Gold, no. 149).

4.  a joy forever
'A thing of beauty is a joy forever' is the first line of John Keats' epic poem, Endymion (1818).

5.  Blue Waves
Chapman bought the painting for 60 guineas. It is identified in the catalogue raisonné as Blue and Gold: Channel (YMSM 159). However, Robin Spencer identifies the "Blue Waves" as Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100) (see Spencer, Robin, 'Whistler's Early Relations with Britain and the Significance of Industry and Commerce for his Art. Part II,' The Burlington Magazine, vol. 136, no. 1099, October 1994, p. 671).

6.  Southampton Water
Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Southampton Water (YMSM 117), purchased by Alfred Chapman on 22 June 1874 for 200 guineas.