The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05606
Date: [5 March 1883][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Thomas Waldo Story[2]
Place: Rome
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S252
Document Type: ALS

[butterfly signature]


There is a tremendous account in this weeks World - "Gossip from Paris" - about the game in the Rue de Sèze[3] Waldino! -

Amazing! - Our James just simply walks over the course! -

Now the thing to do is while it is all hot, for you to make up to Stevens[4] - and tell him all sorts of charming things about me - and make him and Madrazzo[5] and de Nitis[6] (?) get me the [p. 2] legion d'honneur! - tout simplement[7] - You Que ça!

You will have read that the Government, in order to show aproval [sic], intend to give each year the Croix to one of the foreign Exhibitors - Now here is my chance - All of them have already been decorated, excepting I believe Colin Hunter[8] - Waldino you must move every thing in Heaven & Earth to show them the Colin Hunter exists not - and that the Amazing one alone should have the bit of red ribon [sic] he requires! - Don't dare to come away from Paris without it in your trunk for me! -

Go and see Galland[9] - and tell him de quoi il s'agit[10] - and make him put you on to others whose influence may be more immediate - Remember this has nothing to do with the recompenses of the Salon - does not interfere - Tell Madame Waldo[11] with kindest messages that I require it, and that she must keep you up to it! -

Now Waldo snatch her!! Lay low, keep dark, & snatch her!! -

This document is protected by copyright.


Waldo Story -
Palazzo Barberini
[postmark:] CHELSEA / S. W. / 2 12 / MR 5 / 83
[postmark on verso:] ROMA / 8 / 3 83 / 7 M


1.  [5 March 1883]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Thomas Waldo Story
Thomas Waldo Story (1854-1915), sculptor [more]. JW calls him by the affectionate mock-Italian diminutive, 'Waldino'

3.  Rue de Sèeze
Address of the Galerie Georges Petit. This may be a reference to the fashionable opening of the 5th Annual Exhibition, Societé d'Aquarellistes. A report in the column 'Gossip from Paris' in the World noted the business and high-living capacity of the artists included in the exhibition: 'All the Aquarellistes are high-life painters, they all live in beautiful houses, they all have fine horses and bibelots ... they are all charming men and their business capacity is immense.' The artists mentioned included Alphonse-Marie De Neuville (1835-1885), battle painter and illustrator [more]; Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884), artist [more]; and Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré (1832-1883), painter, illustrator, designer and sculptor [more]. See [Anon.,'Theoc'] 'Gossip from Paris,' World, 7 February 1883, No. 449, p. 19. The nature of the 'game' is unclear.

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

5.  Madrazzo
Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta (1841-1920), painter and portraitist [more]. JW may have thought that Madrazo would have influence in the French honours system since he had been made a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1878. In fact JW did not received the honour until 1889; he was made an Officier of the Order in 1892.

6.  de Nitis
Giuseppe de Nittis (1846-1884), painter and etcher [more].

7.  tout simplement ...
Fr., very simply - Just that!

8.  Colin Hunter
Colin Hunter (1841-1904), seascape and coastal painter [more].

9.  Galland
Pierre-Victor Galland (1822-1892), painter and decorative artist [more].

10.  de quoi il s'agit
Fr., what this is all about.

11.  Madame Waldo
Ada Maud Story (1856-1932), née Broadwood [more].