The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Boehm, Joseph Edgar
Record 12 of 71

System Number: 05865
Date: [3 September 1877][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Stephen Tucker[2]
Place: [London?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler T210
Document Type: ALS

Dear Rouge Croix[3] -

Are you anywhere? I want to paint a bishop - or cardinal - ca [sic] m'est egal[4] [sic] - you will arrange it for me of course -

Mon cher will you 'encourage my fortune'? I am going to build[5] - and want a couple of thousand - you will manage it for me of course -

[p. 2] Shall I come some evening? -

Ever Yours

[butterfly signature]

Where is Boehm[6] - Is there any body in town? - Look here I have got some new and lovely etchings - amateurs must take some at once - You will arrange this of course! -

How about [Primrose[7]?]? He ought to buy etchings and dry points -

I say - autre chose[8] - I propose now in the "little season" to paint heads of blokes - business you perceive - portraits bon marché[9] - say from 30. to 50. guineas. Now fellows about town would never dream of coming to Whistler for full length pictures at 400 or 500 - would be glad enough to have a head at 30 to 50 - You know army chaps - [p. 3] ensigns - cornets! and Field Marshal[l]s in their uniforms! - the embroidered collar at least - or their pet ballet dancers[10]! -

Well they must come to me now[11] - You will manage this for me of course - ! and your own official hand shall countenance the whole lot -

'3 Sep. '97'[12]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [3 September 1877]
The date was added in an unknown hand.

2.  Stephen Tucker
Stephen Isaacson Tucker (1835-1887), collector, genealogist and Queen's Herald [more].

3.  Rouge Croix
This may be Tucker's name in a secret society (see #05867). JW had friends in a Jacobite society, and, later, in the Rosicrucians, although it is not known if he was himself a member.

4.  ca m'est egal
Fr., it is all the same to me.

5.  build
This appears to be an early reference to JW's plans for the White House in Tite Street.

6.  Boehm
Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890), sculptor [more].

7.  Primrose

8.  autre chose
Fr., another thing.

9.  bon marché
Fr., cheap.

10.  ballet dancers
Nothing seems to have come of this idea for small head-and-shoulder portraits, although at this time JW was working on the full-scale portrait of a very popular dancer: Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 190).

11.  now
Double underlined.

12.  '3 Sep. '97'
Written at foot of page three, in another hand.