The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02510
Date: 30 June 1886
Author: Frederic Leighton[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L46
Document Type: ALS

[embossed emblem of dragon]


30th June 1886

Dear Whistler

Amongst many happy gifts you have [evidently?] that of writing amusing letters; but you never had a more comic inspiration than when you assumed that that terrible Academy had gone out of the way to be personally rude to you! - Know then, mon cher, that the list containing the communication [p. 2] of the offices of which the holders for the time being receive, as such, invitations to the Royal Academy lies in the Registrar's pigeon holes & is dealt with as a matter of course and [written?] by The Clerks, who, sending the cards to the officer & not to the man, probably don't even know his name; - on that list, of course, stands as it has long stood & will continue to stand "the Pres[iden]t of the Soc. Brit. Artists[2]" - to whom [p. 3] this time as always an invitation was sent with all the others (I have duly enquired in person at the Reg. Office) and unless it was lost in the Post Office, it certainly reached Suffolk street - - Whether it has there been mislaid, or overlooked, or - Macchiavelian [sic] thought! but there is much human nature in man you know, - détourné[3] for the use of some one else - all this, of course, is beyond my knowledge. - For me of course the point [p. 4] to emphasize is that the P. S. B. A. stands as before on our official list & that it never entered the minds of the Council, the only body that could do so, to remove it - and lastly my dear Whistler that you have trop d'esprit[4] to indulge such a fantastic supposition

In busy haste
Yours sincerely

Fr Leighton

P. S. I don't know whether you are aware that I am one of your flock.

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1.  Frederic Leighton
Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), painter and sculptor [more].

2.  Pres[iden]t of the Soc. Brit. Artists
JW was elected President of the Society of British Artists on 1 June 1886. See also JW to F. Leighton, #02511 which appears to be a reply to this letter.

3.  détourné
Fr., misappropriated.

4.  trop d'esprit
Fr., too much sense.