UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00433
Date: [15 April/May 1867][1]
Author: Etienne Joseph Théophile Thoré[2]
Place: Paris
Recipient: Édouard Manet[3]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B212
Document Type: ALS[4]


9, Boulevard Saint Germain

Mon cher Manet,

Vous êtes lié, je crois, avec Whistler. Quelle belle peinture: au Piano[5], no. 1561! ah que je voudrais avoir ça, pour mettre au milieu de mes vieux maîtres.

Vous seriez bien aimable de savoir si le tableau est encore à Whistler et combien il veut le vendre.

Si le prix n'est pas effrayant pour un artiste comme moi, je tâcherai de me donner cette peinture que j'arrangerais très bien avec mon van der Meer de Delft[6].

Mille choses cordiales,

W. Bürger


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Translation:

9, Boulevard Saint-Germain

My dear Manet,

You are close, I believe, to Whistler. What a fine painting: at the Piano, no. 1561! Oh I would very much like to have it, to put in the middle of my old masters.

Would you be kind enough to find out whether the painting still belongs to Whistler and how much he will sell it for.

If the price is not frightening for an artist like me, I shall try to acquire this painting which I would place very well alongside my van der Meer of Delft.

All good wishes,

W. Burger


Notes:

1.  [15 April/May 1867]
Dated from the reference to the Salon, which ran from 15 April to 5 June in 1867.

2.  Etienne Joseph Théophile Thoré
Etienne Joseph Théophile Thoré (1807-1869), alias Thoré-Burger, writer and art critic [more]. Thoré-Burger acquired an earlier, very beautiful pen drawing by JW, Reclining lady (M.214) (1856). The drawing may have been a gift, though whether it was acquired in 1856 or 1867 or at some other time is not known. It is not certain when JW met him, although he certainly knew of Thoré-Burger's reputation.

3.  Édouard Manet
Edouard Manet (1832-1883), painter [more]. He met Whistler through H. Fantin-Latour in 1861, and indeed JW asked the latter to thank Manet for sending on Thoré-Burger's letter (#08047).

4.  ALS
This letter was published in MacDonald, Margaret F. and Joy Newton, 'Letters from the Whistler Collection (University of Glasgow). Correspondance with French Painters,' Gazette des Beaux Arts, no. 128, December 1986, pp. 201-214, at pp. 202-03.

5.  au piano
At the Piano (YMSM 24) was then in the 85th exhibition, Ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, architecture, gravure et lithographie des artistes vivants, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1867. It was owned by Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

6.  van der Meer de Delft
Thoré owned Vermeer, 'La dame assise' (z122) and Vermeer, La dame debout jouant de l'épinette' (z123) (National Gallery, London), Vermeer, La joueuse de guitare' (z124) (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), La femme au collier de perles (Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin). He wrote 'Van der Meer de Delft', Gazette des beaux-arts, XXI, 1866, p. 297 et seq.; and a book of the same title in 1866.