The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04616
Date: 28 January 1898
Author: Harper Pennington[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P256
Document Type: ALS


Jan. 28th '98

It's a little late, dear Jimmy, to wish you the compliments of the Season: but - here they are, any way. May you enjoy a very happy New Year!

I have just seen Boldini's Portrait[2] of you: indeed, I have a reproduction of it hanging on my wall. How do you like it?

Boldini will hardly go down here. He has such an unsavoury reputation. The mere question of whether or no he can paint never [p. 2] seems to cross their minds.

There are rumours from time to time that you will eventually appear among us.

Myself, I think it will be rather like the 'Second Coming' of J. C.[3] - Extremely doubtful, to say the least.

Well - you know of one welcome always awaiting you. Whenever you do make up your mind to pop over, just let me know beforehand, so as to prepare the way[4] - after you are [run?] here - !

Give my love to the Old pals -

Yours as ever,


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1.  Harper Pennington
Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington (1854-1920), artist [more].

2.  Boldini's Portrait
Giovanni Boldini (1845-1931), portrait painter and etcher [more]. JW does not seem to have liked the portrait: G. Boldini, Portrait of Whistler (z246).

3.  J. C.
That is, Jesus Christ.

4.  prepare the way
An allusion to the role of John the Baptist as defined in Mark 1.2-3: 'As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'