The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Kennedy, David A.
Record 6 of 33

System Number: 05046
Date: 11 February 1896
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Francis Gerard Prange[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P686
Document Type: ALS

Cher Directeur -

Do hasten to reassure the owner[2] of the masterpiece you send me. - Say that I am not fit to have painted even the latchet of the shoe that is out of the picture!

No - let the lady rather sell the [p. 2] work as a Titian[3] - if it be her intention to take gold for it - "Why drag in Whistler[4]"! Why depreciate the value of this beautiful thing by associating it with the wild errors of that excentric outlaw who can only be amused after all, at the facility with which the virtues of others are accepted as vices of his own!!.

As for yourself, cher Directeur who have been in the studio, I reserve further utterances until we meet! -

I will see you later! -

[butterfly signature]

De Vere House. De Vere Gardens

Feb. 11. 1896.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  F. G. Prange
Francis Gerard Prange (b. ca 1843), London art dealer [more].

2.  owner
A note by Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more], on a copy of this letter by David A. Kennedy, New York dealer, brother of E. G. Kennedy [more], reads: 'This letter is à propos of a painting supposed to be by Whistler which was sent to the Grafton Gallery director by a lady to be verified. He in turn sent it to Whistler with the above result.' (#09740).

3.  Titian
Tiziano ('Titian') Vecello or Vecellio (1485-1576), painter and engraver [more].

4.  Why drag in Whistler
JW is said to have responded to a comment associating him with Velasquez, 'Why drag in Velasquez?'. The story first appeared in several newspapers in 1884, e.g. Suffolk Chronicle, 26 July 1884, kept by JW (GUL PC 3, p. 35; reprinted in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies: With Some Whistler Stories Old and New, ed. Sheridan Ford, New York, 1890, pp. 246, 250; see Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, K.9 - 10).