The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Leyland, Mrs Thomas
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 08794
Date: [2/9 November 1872][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Frederick Richards Leyland[2]
Place: [Liverpool?]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 6B/21/3
Document Type: ALS[3]

2 Lindsey Houses
Chelsea -

Dear Leyland -

- I know you dont see the Athenaeum[4] and so send the enclosed -

The Princess[5] is at Queens Gate and hanging in the "Velasquez Room"[6] by the fire place opposite the door so that you can see her from the hall as you go in - She looks charming -

You will I hope be pleased to hear that among other things I am well at work at your large picture of the three Girls[7] [p. 2] and that it is going on with ease and pleasure to myself -

I want much to borrow Mrs. Leylands little "Nocturne."[8] She says that she has no objection - so if you would kindly let John[9] pack it in the case I took it to Speke[10] in, and send it to me I should be very much obliged - with apologies for the trouble -

I say I can't thank you too much for the name "Nocturne"[11] as a title for my moonlights! You have no idea what an irritation [p. 3] it proves to the critics and consequent pleasure to me - besides it is really so charming and does so poetically say all I want to say and no more than I wish! The pictures at the Dudley are a great success - The Nocturne in blue and silver[12] is one you dont know at all.

Tell Tom[13] that two of his works[14] are on exhibition in London and catalogued and priced - and there he is lancé! - We all went in triumph to see them, and Mrs. Tom carries back the catalogue -

[p. 4] I have had the Princess photographed[15] but have not yet seen the proofs - When they come [I] shall of course send one down. I do not think I shall come myself to Speke until about Christmas when I may come down with Freddie[16].

Ever Yours

J A McN Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [2/9 November 1872]
Dated from publication of The Athenaeum (see below).

2.  Frederick Richards Leyland
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more].

3.  ALS
Published in Thorp, Nigel (Editor), Whistler on Art: Selected Letters and Writings 1849-1903 of James McNeill Whistler, Manchester, 1994, and Washington, 1995, no. 14. pp. 46-47.

4.  Athenaeum
It contained a review, Anon., 'The Winter Exhibition of Cabinet Pictures in Oil, Dudley Gallery,' The Athenaeum: Journal of English and Foreign Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music and the Drama, no. 2349, 2 November 1872, pp. 568-69.

5.  Princess
La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (YMSM 50).

6.  Velasquez Room
Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660), painter [more]. Leyland owned a painting then attributed to Velasquez. (Formerly attributed to Velazquez, The Corregidor of Madrid (whereabouts unknown) (z22) (see #10071).) JW had justifiable doubts of its authenticity (see #11867).

7.  three Girls
The Three Girls (YMSM 88). It was never completed, and was destroyed at the time of JW's bankruptcy in 1879.

8.  Mrs. Leylands little Nocturne.
Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 113) was painted 1871/1872 and given by JW to Frances Leyland (1836-1910), née Dawson [more].

9.  John
John Cossins, JW's valet [more].

10.  Speke
Leyland's home at Speke Hall near Liverpool.

11.  Nocturne
JW first used the term 'Nocturne', suggested by Leyland, at the 6th Winter Exhibition of Cabinet Pictures in Oil, Dudley Gallery, London, 1872, in November 1872, when Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Southampton Water (YMSM 117) was exhibited as 'Nocturne in Grey and Gold,' with Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 118)(cat. nos. 187, 237).

12.  Nocturne in blue and silver
Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 118). It was described in The Athenaeum as a 'pair' with Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Southampton Water (YMSM 117), showing 'the same part of the Thames under very different effects of light' (see above). It has not been identified with certainty but might be Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119).

13.  Tom
Possibly Thomas Layland, a social acquaintance of JW, possibly an artist [more], and his wife, Jane Ann Leyland (1843-1933), née Gregson; they married in 1872. The exhibition has not been identified. See also #08055.

14.  his works

15.  Princess photographed
JW had several paintings photographed by John Robert Parsons (ca 1826 - d.1909), painter, photographer, and art dealer [more], including Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) (see #07906).

16.  Freddie
Frederick Dawson Leyland (b. 1856), son of F. R. Leyland [more].