The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Search for People > Document Display

return to search results

Documents associated with: Ludovici, Albert, Jr
Record 14 of 85

System Number: 08079
Date: [October/November 1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Albert Ludovici[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/18/11
Document Type: ALS



Mon cher -

This next meeting is likely to be stormy - Tenons nous bien[5]! -

The man Bayley[6] may bluster but we can easily destroy him -

The exposition of the President's[7] work is only put off - and now [p. 2] if you ask me, I should say no - don't let us drag on with the present show - We will make up in the Spring - and with fresh work sell more - but for Heaven's sake dont propose that we should keep the place open any longer in the vague hope that something else might be sold - All those considerations my dear Ludovici should give way to the great prestige principle that we are aiming at -

Take my word for it and let us fight well on large matters - it will pay in the end -

You know how I can stand by the interests of each one - and so do have confidence in

[butterfly signature]

Have you seen the latest scalp in Truth[8] these last two or three weeks - and in the World[9]? -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [October/November 1887?]
Dated by reference to opposition to JW in the Royal Society of British Artists. JW was elected President of the SBA (RBA) on 1 June 1886 and took office in December. Many members opposed his hanging policy and autocratic style. By October 1887 he was meeting very strong opposition, particularly to his ideas for altering the rules for membership of the RBA. He was forced to resign on 4 June 1888.

2.  Albert Ludovici
Albert Ludovici, Sr (1820-1894), genre painter [more]. He (and his father) were regular attenders at RBA meetings but, according to the Minutes, played no active role. It appears from this letter that the younger Ludivici may have been active behind the scenes. He continued to support JW in later years and was an active member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.

The letter is written at right angles to the heading. The Beefsteak was a private men's dining club.

4.  Private
Double underlined.

5.  Tenons nous bien
Fr., Let us stick together.

6.  Bayley
Probably Wyke Bayliss (1835-1906), painter and architect [more]. He was active in opposing JW's suggestions for amending the rules of the SBA, and eventually became the next President of the SBA (RBA).

7.  exposition of the President's
An exhibition of JW's work at the SBA (RBA) was first proposed for the Spring of 1887, postponed until the Spring of the following year, and finally abandoned (see SBA minutes, 5 September, 3 October and 18 November 1887; #05303, #13402).

8.  the latest scalp in Truth
A stream of news items and letters were published in the newspapers containing attacks on those JW considered his enemies. Each enemy was considered by JW to be dead and added to his collection of virtual scalps. This particular item has not been identified.

9.  World
This article has not been identified.