The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02687
Date: 14 February 1894
Author: Sir William Eden[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 1/174/1
Document Type: MsLc[2]


14: Feb: 1894

4. Rue de Presbourg - Paris.

Dear Mr. Whistler.

Herewith your Valentine =

Cheque value one hundred guineas -

The picture[3] will always be of inestimable value to me & will be handed down as an heirloom as long as heirlooms last - !

I shall always look back with pleasure to the painting of it - & with thanks remain,

Yrs sincerely

William Eden -

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1.  Sir William Eden
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more].

2.  MsLc
This letter, copied by JW, is followed in JW's letterbook by a copy of his reply, written on the same day (#02688).

3.  The picture
This letter led to JW's dispute with Eden over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. Although Eden had sent him the cheque, JW was dissatisfied with his work and refused to hand it over, believing it was the artist's right to withhold a picture in such circumstances. When Eden instituted legal proceedings against him in November 1894 in order to retrieve it, JW returned all monies that had been paid to him. However, the dispute dragged on until December 1897 when JW, on appeal, was permitted by the Cour de Cassation in Paris to keep the picture provided that he did not make use of it. In 1899, JW published his account of the affair in Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].