UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04176
Date: 3 December 1893
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: George Moore[1]
Place: [London?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M446
Document Type: MsLc[2]


110 Rue du Bac - Paris -

Dear Moore -

Upon the whole I think I prefer people who shoot - or fish - or play Hallma[3] - to those who "paint very nicely indeed in water colours"! -

But your friends the Edens[4] are of course charming - and I shall be delighted to know them -

D'ont [sic] let Sir William call at the Studio however, - as you did, without letting me know beforehand - as I am curiously busy just now and it would be too bad that he should climb up all those stairs, and I not be able to receive him after all. -

You see I d'ont always find myself in the humour to let people in as I did you that day - which by the way is not without a certain taint of flattery! - But you had been writing such jolly rollicking nonsense in the speaker[5] which I had been buying for your sake only, that I could'nt [sic] help it! - You know as I told you, you have no end of go in those "Art" things of yours - and heaven forbid that you should be ever be more right and less mad! - but sometimes I think it a pity - you might do such a pretty deal of harm! if you could only know - Never mind!

The things themselves are beautiful [p. 2] divilments [sic]! - and you have never sent me your book[6]? -

Are you coming over here? -

Tell me also is that story of yours, that I was reading in The Pall Mall[7], continued else where? for we were much interested in the lady . . and felt that her career had most unqualifiably come to an abrupt full stop! -

What possessed you to do that pas seul[8] of quite carnal & uncalled for excitement before Ingres[9] "Source"? - a short legged knobbly [sic] kneed ill begotten wench! - Why now draw attention to this unholy sort of Bank holiday passion for her? - so sort out of date too, even for a pioneer - and why call her "Greek"! so near the Goddess on the staircase[10]! -

Well! well! - What shall I say to you unless it be "continuez"! - as McMahon[11] said to coloured "gentleman" of The École Poletechnique! -

Always Sincerely

J McN Whistler

December 3rd 1893 -


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Notes:

1.  George Moore
George Moore (1852-1933), novelist and art critic [more].

2.  MsLc
Written in the hand of Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

3.  Hallma
The board game 'Halma'.

4.  the Edens
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more], who later commissioned a portrait of Lady Sybil Frances Eden (1867-1945), née Grey [more]. Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408) became the cause of a serious dispute over ownership, a lawsuit and a book: Whistler, James McNeill, Eden v. Whistler, [n.p.], 1897.

5.  speaker
Moore wrote articles for the London based journal, The Speaker.

6.  book
Moore, George, Modern Painting, London, 1893; a copy is in Glasgow University Library (Whistler 101).

7.  Pall Mall
An article in the Pall Mall Gazette or Budget; not identified.

8.  pas seul
Fr., solo dance.

9.  Ingres
Jean Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), painter [more]. J.-D. Ingres, La Source(z288) is in the Musée du Louvre.

10.  Goddess on the staircase
Artist unknown, Venus de Milo (z289) is also in the Musée du Louvre.

11.  McMahon
Marie Edme Patrice Maurice de MacMahon (1808-1893), duc de Magenta, President of France from 1873-1879 [more].