UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05571
Date: 12 October 1887
Author: Alfred Stevens[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S217
Document Type: ALS


12 Oct. 87.

Mon très cher ami,

Votre lettre[2] me fait un bien vif plaisir, d'abord parceque je vois que vous n'oubliez pas votre si grand, si grand ami qui dérange par sa taille la perspective, mais aussi pour les bonnes nouvelles que vous me donnez sur l'académie[3] dont j'ai l'honneur d'être membre.

Ce sera donc avec grand plaisir que je vous enverrai quelques petits tableaux de moi pour notre exposition.

Voici ce que je tiens à vous demander et répondez moi bien franchement, vous êtes notre Président, vous avez des charges à remplir, et j'en abuse.
1o aimez-vous mieux pour notre exposition des petits tableaux que des grands?
2o Ne pourrais-je pas en envoyant 3 petits tableaux y joindre deux pastels[4]? est-ce trop?
[p. 2] 3o A qui et comment dois-je les envoyer?
4o Les frais de transport sont-ils à ma charge?
5o Comment dois-je faire ma notice? dois-je y mettre mes titres officiels? est-ce utile? pas tous j'espère, j'en rougirais ma parole et croyez moi bien. Enfin[.] Dois-je indiquer les prix des tableaux.

Repondez moi, cher Président, au plus vite!

Ah! j'oubliais pas de Raffaelli[5] n'est ce pas à notre exposition, ou je vous envoie des témoins.

bien affectueusement à vous mon très cher ami

Alfred Stevens

15 avenue Frochot


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

My very dear friend,

Your letter gave me very great pleasure, firstly because I see that you have not forgotten your great, so very great friend who disturbs your perspective because of his size, but also for the good news which you gave me about the academy of which I have the honour to be a member.

It will therefore be with great pleasure that I shall send you a few small pictures of mine for our exhibition.

Here is what I wish to ask you and please reply frankly, you are our President, you have duties to perform and I am taking advantage of you.
1 For our exhibition do you prefer small pictures to large?
2 In sending you 3 small pictures could I add two pastels? Is that too much?
[p. 2] 3 To whom should I send them?
4 Do I pay the postage costs?
5 How should I write my notice? Should I put my official titles? is it useful? Not all I hope, I should blush for it on my word and believe me. Lastly, should I put the prices of the pictures.

Please reply, dear President, as quickly as possible!

Ah! I was forgetting, no Raffaelli at our exhibition, all right, or I shall send you my seconds.

Affectionately
To you my very dear Whistler

Alfred Stevens


Notes:

1.  Alfred Stevens
Alfred Émile-Léopold Stevens (1823-1906), history and portrait painter [more].

2.  Votre lettre
Not located.

3.  l'académie
The Royal Society of British Artists, of which JW was President. Stevens had been one of the first foreign artists elected to membership, with JW's support.

4.  3 petits tableaux y joindre deux pastels
Stevens contributed to 64th Annual Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887.

5.  Raffaelli
Jean François Raffaëlli (1850-1924), artist [more]. Stevens is of course jesting about sending his seconds to JW for a duel if Raffaëlli were to be included.