The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00246
Date: 17 December 1891
Author: John Chandler Bancroft[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B20
Document Type: ALS


Dec 17 1891

Dear Whistler

I went yesterday to the Luxembourg & found the picture[2] on an easel very prominent in the first room - The effect of it (on me) was exactly what I expected & if I were writing without having seen it I should say the same as now - I took a good look at it from the start with eyes not yet quite used to the light of the room and then wandered round looking [p. 2] at other pictures: coming back to it three or four times, each time with more satisfaction and my first impression each time strengthened - It has a simplicity and dignity of sentiment and a quiet richness of tone and light which place it by itself in the collection and it will go hard with its neighbours not to look [painty?] and garish when it is hung upon the walls - I could hardly turn my back upon it - You will surely be well pleased when you see it -

We go to Cannes (Hotel Prince [p. 3] de Galles) on Sunday night to stay ten days or a fortnight - After that I dont know what next -

It would be delightful to have you paint the marine[3] this winter - I dont think I have any choice of place or any other idea than what I suppose yours might be, wherein I hope I may be right - A luminous sky & sea with motion enough to hold the whole together: a problem to solve in some key, a question of harmony & tone - am I right?

I should think you would at this time of year find [p. 4] a good climate and a seashore worth knowing in the region south of Bayonne, Biarritz or along there. I only know the coast from glimpses you get on the railroad - but it seemed very fine & full of character -

I also went to Goupil's[4] - but the light was abominable & I dont believe I got half as good an impression of the moonlight[5] as it deserves - But frankly I am sure I like sunlight best perhaps because my eyes are growing old & cant get too much of it -

With kind regards to Mrs Whistler[6]
sincerely yours

J C Bancroft

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1.  John Chandler Bancroft
John Chandler Bancroft (1822-1907), politician, diplomat and collector [more].

2.  picture
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) had been bought by the French Government in November 1891.

3.  marine
Silver and Blue: Southampton (M.1142).

4.  Goupil's
Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris art dealers.

5.  moonlight
Nocturne: Blue and Gold - St Mark's, Venice (YMSM 213).

6.  Mrs Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].