System Number: 03347
Date: [12 November 1893]
Recipient: Thomas Robert Way
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 105
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS
110. Rue du Bac - Paris -
My dear Tom -
Now I think I have some news for you both! - Monsieur André Marty, editor of a couple of journals here is going over to London tomorrow - I enclose prospectus of a work - album or collection of lithographs, etchings, etc - I am asked as you see to contribute - There is as usual no money in the matter for me - or very little! - However as I shall [p. 2] be in the same box with the others, and as Puvis de Chavannes, Bracquemond, Fantin, and the rest are going to be in it - I have promised - You know that in France it is very much the bad habit in getting up anything to trade on the good nature of the artists! - So in any case as I am going to be amiable, at least let us be very swell among them all! - Therefore I am sending Monsieur Marty to you - He will of course pay you - so you are all right -
Now he will want 100 proofs for his publication, and seven over for the government deposits - In every way I think this will be good business for you - I mean artistically, for attention will be drawn to the fact that I have had my work printed in England by you - In Paris as I make out [p. 3] there is only one man who prints with intelligence and feeling - and I have just discovered that he is not to be trusted! -
More of this by and bye - I should think therefore that a great many will after this work appears send over to you -
Tomorrow then M. Marty will take with him three or four, (or more if I have them ready) drawings on the old transfer paper - Now what I want you to do, is put them all on stone and send me the proofs - a couple of each - one on ordinary printing paper - and one on my Dutch - Of course if you can do this at once, I should be delighted - as they are really waiting for my contribution - I shall directly I see the proofs choose the one I let Monsieur Marty have - and then you will transfer thatone to a second stone and print it off for his publication - keeping the original stone for me - as you did in the case of the [p. 4] "Whirlwind" - Of all this, nothing to Marty - Indeed he is in no way to interfere - he is neither to choose nor to bother - You will say if called upon to do so, that you know Mr Whistler of old - and that he is most fastidious & difficult - and that you have your orders by which alone you can be guided - It will of course, as always, be all for the best, for I mean to give them what I think will appear to our advantage
Meanwhile show nothing to anyone -
Now the Marty business is really after all more of an interruption than anything else - for I am still in the midst of my studies - and had dropped the paper just now for the stone itself - Indeed I have a beauty on stone that I am longing to send you! - I would have given it to Marty tomorrow only it could scarcely be packed in time - Perhaps Mr Heinemann who is coming here today may take it back with him - I probably might have two or three - The stones are small and light - You ought to sit down and write to me and tell me how I can, with safety, send you over stones now & then if I want - so that they should not be opened at the customs - except in your presence -
What a correspondence I am dropping into with you Master Tom to be sure!! -
With kindest regards and best wishes for the success of all of us
Thomas Way. Junr.
21. Wellington Street
[stamp x 2:] POSTE / 10 / REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE
[torn stamp:] POSTE / 5 / REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE
[postmark:] PARIS-80 / R. DU BAC / 5E 12 / NOV / 93
[postmark on verso:] LON[DON] / C. X. / / NO [illegible] / 93
1. [12 November 1893]
Dated from the postmark and the date of '12 Novr 93' written in pencil in another hand on p. 1..
Published in Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, pp. 68-69, no. 53.
André E. Marty (b. 1857), journalist, illustrator and print publisher [more], was also the director of the Journal des artistes. From 1893 to 1895 he collaborated on the publication L'Estampe originale with Roger Marx (1859-1913), civil servant, art critic, journalist and collector [more]. This was a series of quarterly albums of ten prints each (except the last, which contained fourteen) in a variety of media. JW's lithograph, The Draped Figure, Seated (C.72), was published in Album IV of L'Estampe originale, under the title Danseuse. Other artists whose works appeared in the same album were Félicien Rops, Pierre Roche, Benjamin Jean Pierre Henri Rivière, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Henri Jules Charles Corneille de Groux, Jules Chéret, Eugène Carrière, and Félix Bracquemond. A number of British artists contributed to subsequent albums, including Charles Ricketts (Album VII, 1894), Charles Hazelwood Shannon (Album VII, 1894), Joseph Pennell (Album VIII, 1894), William Rothenstein (Album VIII, 1894), and Walter Crane (Album IX, 1895). See Stein, Donna M. and Donald H. Karshan, L'Estampe Originale: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1970; Boyer, Patricia Eckert and Phillip Dennis Cate, L'Estampe originale Artistic Printmaking in France, 1893-1895, New Brunswick, 1991.
8. Chavannes, Bracquemond, Fantin
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898), painter [more]; Joseph Auguste ('Félix') Bracquemond (1833-1914), painter and etcher [more]; and Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more].
Henri Belfond (fl. 1891-1894), lithographic printer [more]. A proof signed in pencil and inscribed 'Monsieur Belfond' is in the collection of Steven Louis Block, Washington, DC (see Hobbs, Susan, Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler from the Collection of Steven Louis Block, exhibition catalogue, Washington, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, 1982, p. 61, no. 43). JW was upset that Belfond had sold a proof of a colour lithograph, Draped Figure, Reclining (C.56), which JW had given him. A year later JW reported that the firm had broken up (see T. R. Way to JW, 26 September 1892, #06096; JW to E. G. Kennedy, [10 December 1893], #09712; JW to T. R. Way, 2 November 1894, #03390).
JW liked to use antique paper to print his lithographs; it added colour and texture to the impression.
13. beauty on stone
In November and December 1893 JW worked on a number of lithographic stones, some of which were acquired in Paris and others from Way in London. This was probably the stone JW sent to London via W. Heinemann, which failed to print satisfactorily; see T. R. Way to JW, 14 November 1893, #06102.
The remainder of the letter is written in the top margin of p. 1.