UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00694
Date: [1/15 August 1892?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: George Coronio[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C195
Document Type: ALd


Oh no! my dear & very wide awake Coronio! - No the time moment for that sort of thing appreciation has gone by - Certainly you have done very well with the other Whistler you had - sold it for 12 or was [it] 13 times what you gave me for it -

You have all been made a good business out of your Whistlers - though not quite so well as you mi look at John Cavafy[3] - sold the lot of them - and my present into the bargain! And Aleco[4] sold his Valparaiso[5] Nocturne to Sir John Day[6] for 400 cash & a little Marine[7] with fishing smacks for 200 down - he gave me perhaps 20 for it! Oh yes! pretty devilish well the Greek Colony have done with me - turning their monies over & over & over again with my name! and filling their purses with the reputation that I have made taken these years for me to make in the teeth of the people with whom you meanwhile had cologued [sic] & made friends. with and now that these works of mine, for which you all gave nothing, are asserting their value in the [p. 2] you all of you rush into the market ... and with the most brazen indecency hawk them about [...]

and[8] with pride & a clear conscience I may now say that I doubt if I have left a single enemy standing untouched on his legs - What a magnificent battle I have made of it! What a superb victory! All along the line!! - The pluck of it! & the wit of it! - I quite really marvel when I look back my dear George and think now of the courage and unflagging determination I must have had, alone and absolutely without sympathy one ally to have unwearyingly continued in this single handed strife in that cold commercial country - where all the vulgar methods of destruction warfare known to the shopkeeper were brought uselessly brought to bare upon me for destruction and but added to my triumph - Ruskin[9] - and his satellites in their deliberate attempt to beggar the artist, ended but in his glorification - The bancruptcy[10] [sic] that was to have been his disgrace is the one of glorious proudest be recognition public demonstration in England of which he may well be proud - and the work itself that is now This sudden confidential [burst?] of feeling may seem to you most abrupt and almost irrelevant - but my dear George it is not so out of place - for in this long struggle - where I neither asked for quarter nor ever gave it!, I knew that the people would give me none! -

Gold I have not been able to bring you - but look at the glory I have been to you! - and therefore it is that suddenly I cannot refrain from nudging your elbow that, with me, you may delight in the superb record of the past while I thank you that acknowledge that in the midst of your overwhelming duties to the whole race of wealthy criminal Englishmen you have carefully guarded, with best & most brilliant law of the land, this one simple Southern gentleman whose only [...]


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Notes:

1.  [1/15 August 1892?]
Dated by reference to sale of paintings (see below).

2.  George Coronio
Georges Coronio (1831-1895), broker, banker and collector [more].

3.  John Cavafy
Dr John Cavafy (ca 1839-1901), physician and collector, son of G. J. Cavafy [more].

4.  Aleco
Alexander ('Aleco') Ionides (1840-1898), businessman [more].

5.  Valparaiso
Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Valparaiso Bay (YMSM 76) was sold in May 1892.

6.  Sir John Day
Sir John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908), QC, collector [more].

7.  Marine
Green and Grey: The Oyster Smacks, Evening (YMSM 99) was sold in July to Sebastien-Paul Gallimard (1850-1929), collector, publisher and patron of the arts [more].

8.  and
There is a break in the draft, which continues at this point, written upside down on p. 2.

9.  Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]. JW had sued him for libel, and won the case, in 1878.

10.  bancruptcy
Partly as a result of the costs of the Whistler v. Ruskin case, JW was declared bankrupt on 8 May 1879.