The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Cowan, Sophy
Record 2 of 22

System Number: 09019
Date: [July/August 1893/1894][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: John James Cowan[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Winterthur Library, Winterthur, DE
Call Number: Museum Archives, Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera, No 63x73 #1620
Document Type: ALS

110. Rue du Bac. Paris -

My dear Mr Cowan -

I meant to answer your most kind and charming letter, containing cheque for £30, - directly it came the other day - but I was in the throes of painting! - and so you see it was put off -

Would you believe it - I was led again into the picture of a man[3] with his trunk packed! and anxious to be off! - [p. 2] Weak of me - wasn't it! -

Never again! - Also this time he couldn't wait for the work to dry - so there was no use! -

We are gasping for the salt air - and shall probably be off directly somewhere -

Lots of rows[4] been going on in Paris as you have doubtless heard - but I was kept by my hurried man in the studio all the while! and so saw nothing of it all - for here in this old fauburg of Priest[5] and "Aristos" there was of course nothing but order and good conduct!

The Arrangement in Grey & Green[6] still behaves well - and has been seen with much appreciation & great admiration by a very choice few! - otherwise it is having a good time drying! -

Well - I am off now - if this note is to go at all - Give our[7] kindest [p. 3] remembrances to Mrs Cowan[8], and with bien des choses distinguées[9] to yourself,

Always sincerely Yours

J McN. Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [July/August 1893/1894]
Dated by reference to portraits (see below).

2.  John James Cowan
John James Cowan (1846-1936), paper manufacturer and collector [more].

3.  man
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more], who had been posing for Portrait of E. G. Kennedy (1) (YMSM 403), and Portrait of E. G. Kennedy (2) (YMSM 404), in the summer of 1893.

4.  rows
Not identified.

5.  faubourg of Priest
There was a monastery backing onto the garden at 110 Rue du Bac.

6.  Arrangement in Grey & Green
Arrangement in Grey and Green: Portrait of J. J. Cowan (YMSM 402), started in April 1893.

7.  our
JW and Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

8.  Mrs Cowan
Sophy Cowan (b. ca 1850), née Gillespie, wife of J. J. Cowan [more].

9.  bien des choses distinguées
Fr., many nice things.