The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05118
Date: [9/23 December 1887][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: William George Rawlinson[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler R18
Document Type: ALdS


What could have possessed you my dear good Rawlinson to write me that voluntary resumé of your own irrelevant "persuasions" in Art!! -

Your letter[4], that I had put aside, to properly attend to, in the matter of business, has just turned up in looking over odd papers - those which [p. 2] none odder than your own naïvef little well meant advice admonishing - Now I do wonder what condition of dulness bewilderment could possibly induce me solemnly to offer you my views of your proceedings in the City!! -

Curiously enough too, you bring to my notice your former shiftlessness, - for these same "Venice Etchings[5]" you are now asking for, are the ones you before now had ventured to discuss - and wagged your amiable head over as - unworthy! -

God will forgive you! - but he will never tell you -

As to the Nocturne[6], I propose this - that you let me know what you gave the famous ingenuous Howell[7] for the picture, and I will take it back from you at that the same price -

Moreover if you lik wish it I will paint you another to take its' place if you wish it, as an entirely new Transaction -

And I am
my Dear Rawlinson

J M Whistler -

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1.  [9/23 December 1887]
This is the draft of a reply to Rawlinson's letter of 8 December 1887 (#05117). It may never have been sent since the two seem to have remained on good terms.

2.  William George Rawlinson
William George Rawlinson (1840-1928), silk merchant, collector [more].

The letter is written at right angles to this embossed heading, which thus appears in the right margin.

4.  Your letter
Rawlinson's letter of 8 December 1887 (#05117).

5.  Venice Etchings
Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5), or A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6).

6.  Nocturne
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119), which required some sort of restoration, repainting and/or re-varnishing on several occasions, and is now greyish black rather than the dark blue it apparently was originally (see Rawlinson to JW, 19 February 1888, #05123).

7.  Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].