The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01240
Date: [23/30 January 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Marcus Bourne Huish[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F172
Document Type: ALd

'Penned on 1892[3]'


Dear Mr Huish -

Your letter (Jan. 21.) has been forwarded to me here -

The interest you show in the "Venice etchings[4]" is pleasing, even at this remote date - I am never really fatigued with admiration - and indeed I dont very much mind tardiness ofin its expression - That indeed cannot concern myself - but only the one who seeks to express it - and there are those who are slower than others about them - in the perception of things -

When, as Director of "the Fine Arts [sic] Society," you tell me that you hear "indirectly" that these etchings "have been done, & very well done" - you lift [me?] with open out to me a vista of the internal working of the business machinery of that merry Company, limited most gratifying in its genial casual happy go [p. 2] lucky way of attending (managing matters) to their its concerns (engagements) - most fascinating (refreshing) - and worthy of one of Gilbert & Sullivans Opera Bouffes[5]?!

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1.  [23/30 January 1892]
This is the draft of a reply to Huish's letter of 21 January 1892 , #01239.

2.  Marcus Bourne Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

3.  Penned on 1892
Written in another hand in pencil, in top left corner.

4.  Venice etchings
Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

5.  Gilbert & Sullivans Opera Bouffes
The famous writer and composer of operettas, Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911), playwright and librettist [more], and Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900), composer and conductor [more]. By 'Opera Bouffes' JW was alluding to the kind of French comic opera that became popular during the reign of Napoleon III and which originated with Offenbach's productions at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens.