The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05369
Date: [3 December 1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Edward Linley Sambourne[2]
Place: [Isle of Thanet, Kent]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S13
Document Type: ALdS


My dear Sambourne -

I know I shall be only charmed, as I always am by your work - and if I am myself it's subject, I shall only be flattered in addition -

Punch[4] in person sat upon me in the box - Why should not the most subtle of his staff have a shot? moreover whatever delicacy [p. 2] and refinement Tom Taylor[5] may have still left in his pockets (from Which he drew his ammunition) I doubt not he will urge you to use that it may not be wasted! -

Meanwhile you must not throw away sentiment upon what you call this '[']trying time" - To me it has been joy -

To have brought about an "Arrangement of in Frith[6] Punch & Ruskin[7] with a touch of Titian[8]" - is in itself sufficient to satisfy even my own appetite craving for curious combinations -

Ever yours[9]

J A McN. Whistler

Dec 3.

To see Perceive in Ruskins army! - T Taylor whose oppinion he prizes his type his delight - and Frith his ideal! - was gratifying, but to sit and look at Burne Jones[10] hand in glove with T Taylor whom he approves enjoys and Frith whom he respects was a privel conscientiously appraising with the in good fellowship the work of another was a privilege

[p. 4] Ruskins Army was amazing and

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1.  [3 December 1878]
This is one of two drafts (#05368-9) of a letter of this date (see #08123 for original and full annotation).

2.  Edward Linley Sambourne
Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910), Punch caricaturist [more].

Address heading is embossed.

4.  Punch
See Whistler, James McNeill, Nine Letters to Watts-Dunton from J. McN. Whistler, ed. P. E., Chelsea, 1922, p. 254.

5.  Tom Taylor
Thomas ('Tom') Taylor (1817-1880), civil servant, dramatist, art critic, and editor of Punch from 1874-1880 [more]. The case of Whistler v. Ruskin was heard at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878. Taylor appeared as a not-very-hostile witness for Ruskin. See Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 141-45 for JW's testimony; and, on Ruskin's side, pp. 171-76 for Burne-Jones; pp. 176-78 for W. P. Frith; and pp. 178-80 for Taylor.

6.  Frith
William Powell Frith (1819-1909), genre and landscape painter [more].

7.  Ruskin's
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], had libelled JW's paintings, in particular, Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170); see Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213.

8.  Titian
Tiziano ('Titian') Vecello or Vecellio (1485-1576), painter and engraver [more].

9.  Ever yours ... J A McN. Whistler
Struck through with one diagonal pen stroke.

10.  Burne Jones
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), painter and designer [more]. He was embarrassed by having to appear on Ruskin's behalf, for which JW never forgave him (Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 171-76).