The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Wyndham, Percy
Record 14 of 17

System Number: 07343
Date: [25 February 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Madeline Wyndham[2]
Place: [Salisbury]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1331
Document Type: ALdS


Paris - 33. Rue de Tournon -

Dear Mrs Wyndham -

I am grievously shocked at the disaster you tell me of[3] - The explanation is as simple as it is now useless futile - A desperate one from Burlington House, or Coniston[4] has of course got in, during your absence and done this thing as a last arguement - He should be given up to me like Humphrey Ward[5], the "plain man" of the "Times" "that he might be brayed among wheat with a pestle in a mortar"! - This unfortunately alas! cannot happen - and here, the Conservateur du Louvre will be furious! -

Meanwhile, dear Mrs Wyndham, if you will allow me, I would like to send my own man - Mr Richards[6] - of Berners Street, to take the picture, and repair it - I have full confidence in his capacity and great care - I will send him by this same post, your line to the House keeper, and if you will kindly send a wire to Belgrave Square, [p. 2] she might let him carry off the painting at once, that no time may be lost - He will clean the little Nocturne, and varnish it - This ought now certainly to be done for its own protection first, and then that you may at last see it in its full perfection as it was in all its freshness the day it was painted - If there be any touch to put upon the injured spot, I shall do that myself on my return to town -

It is very nice and kind of you and Mr. Wyndham[7] to lend me the picture, and as I have never borrowed it before, I am going still further to impose upon your indulgence, and beg you to let me have it again for the month of May in Paris - I do trust that you will not refuse, as I am most anxious that these works should be seen here in an atmosphere of appreciation and consideration that curiously enough surrounds all that pertains to my work, from the portrait of my Mother[8] in the Luxembourg to the latest "Harmony" and "Arrangement" -

Moreover this will not only amuse you, but will in a manner justify you[9] in your early and courageous sympathy with these "impertinencies" -

Believe me, dear Mrs. Wyndham, with again many thanks, and kindest regards,
Very sincerely Yours

J. McNeill Whistler

The Exhibition[10] at the Goupils, is to open on or before the 16th. of March - and to last three weeks -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [25 February 1892]
Dated from a dated copy of this letter, see GUL skbk h/4-6. This is a reply to Mrs Wyndham's letter of 23 February 1892, #07342.

2.  Madeline Wyndham
Madeline Caroline Frances Eden Wyndham (1835-1920), née Campbell, artist [more].

3.  disaster you tell me of
The picture had met with an accident and been damaged (M. Wyndham to JW, #07342, 23 February 1892).

4.  Coniston
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], lived at Brantwood, Coniston.

5.  Humphrey Ward
Thomas Humphrey Ward (1845-1926), journalist and author [more].

6.  Mr Richards
Stephen Richards (b. ca 1845), picture restorer [more].

7.  Mr. Wyndham
Percy Wyndham (1835-1911), collector [more].

8.  Mother
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101).

9.  you
'you in your...Whistler', was written in the left margin, and 'The Exhibition...weeks', in the left margin of p.1, at right angles to the main text.

10.  Exhibition
Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892.