The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Dubois, Paul
Record 1 of 2

System Number: 09647
Date: [2/9 May 1885][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Théodore Duret[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 9/562-3
Document Type: TLc

The Vale - Chelsea, -

My dear Duret -

Do you know that you are getting to write, what we call a simply fiendish "fist"! - c'est à dire que je n'arrive plus a rien pouvoir dechifrer de ce que vous m'écrivez! - main rien rien[3]! -

Il me parait comprendre que Duran[d] Ruel[4] a mal fait les choses, et que mon portrait de Lady Archie[5] est arrivé au Salon[6] dans un fichu état - et qu'il a été verni depuis - et par conséquent doit être couvert de poussière a l'heure qu'il est -

Soyez charmant et envoyez moi donc quelques "cuttings" from the newspapers - there must be some -

Perhaps I may get over to Paris but not just yet -

The Sarasate[7] is an astonishing success here -

Tell me what the painters say in Paris - also who is M. Dubois[8]? Some of the journals here say that his portrait is the favourite in the Salon -

Toujours à vous

[butterfly signature]

But what I can read, my dear Duret, is your book[9]! and that is charming! - How well it looks too - and what a perfect title - (p. 2) L'Avant Garde! - c'est ça - Voilà qui est bien trouvé[10]! - For let us never forget that you were always to the fore, while the others were left away behind in the dim distance of doubt and stupidity!

Maud[11] sends kindest messages, but she has been very ill indeed.

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1.  [2/9 May 1885]
Dated from the reference to the Salon, which opened on 1 May 1885 (see below).

2.  Théodore Duret
Théodore Duret (1838-1927), art critic and collector [more].

3.  rien
'c'est à dire ... rien', Fr., that is to say I can no longer decipher what you write to me! Nothing! Nothing!

4.  Duran[d] Ruel
Paul Durand-Ruel (1828 or 1831-1922), Paris art dealer, or one of his sons, Joseph (1862-1928), Charles (1865-1892) or Georges (1866-1931). 'Il me parait ... envoyez moi donc quelques'; Fr., I understand that Durand Ruel has managed things badly, and that my portrait of Lady Archie arrived at the Salon in wretched condition - and was then varnished - and consequently must now be covered in dust. Please be charming and send me some press-cuttings.

5.  portrait de Lady Archie
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

6.  Salon
103rd exhibition, Ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, architecture, gravure et lithographie des artistes vivants, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1885.

7.  Sarasate
Both Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315) and Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242) were shown at the Salon.

8.  M. Dubois
Paul Dubois (1829-1905), painter and sculptor [more], exhibited two portraits, both entitled 'Portrait de Mlle ***' (cat. nos. 851, 852). A critic wrote, 'The work of the painter-sculptor, Paul Dubois, is more likely to be generally appreciated; ... his merit is in possessing sincere natural perceptions, together with an unaffected and modern mastery of technical difficulties.' (Magazine of Art, vol 35, June 1885.

9.  book
Duret, Théodore, Critique d'Avant-Garde, Paris, 1885.

10.  Voila ...
'c'est ça - Voilà qui est bien trouvé!'; Fr., just so - That is very well put!

11.  Maud
Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more].