The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 06603
Date: [27 January 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W596
Document Type: ALS

There is no letter Trixie Wam amazing! - Just a tiny word to tell you that things are going on and that at last I believe I have found the ideal Studio!! -

Of course the whole day has been a continuation of Counts[3]!! - a good deal of "respectueux[4]" and general tiresomeness - at least there would have been only that I happened to find myself of a humour rather reckless and therefore rather laughed away some of the solemnity that might have been brought from the Faubourg St Germain! - In any case the Studio is such - that we can no longer do without it - and no matter what happens we must own [p. 2] it! - Gandara[5] who is really sad and delightful - and whom you would like indeed to see in the place of "pore Roussel[6]" tells me that he will try and get it for us finally -

Just fancy an enormous sort of mysterious palatial interior with parqueted floor, and window going up to the roof as who should say - with every effect dreamed of - from Rembrant[7] [sic] through to the daintiest of pastels! - all this and more within reach for 1100. fs - that is £44. a year! - Of course we must have it! - And now Chinkie darling Luck this just goes to you until tomorrow I shall write more and tell you of my red[8] room at the Hotel Foyot which is really nice & where you ought to be now - When are you to be expected - I could get a little suite on the same floor, so the Landlady says for 12 fs. a day - for all of us - the elegant blind Bunnie[9] to have one little room - another for us - and then un petit salon - What do you think? -

But how long! - how long!

This is awful news about Maeterlink[10]! -

The work itself is supposed to begin tomorrow - and perhaps all may go well - You must do the Obi - and also get off the other panel of the window!

Now one thing most important - You must send for Grau[11] and tell him to make at once, a palette exactly like mine - the same size, etc - - with the little boxes all round for the paints - you know. [drawing of palette[12]] - finish it at once - pack it up and send it to

Monsieur de La Gandara
22. Rue Monsieur le Prince

I cannot tell you how courteous and kind he has been - nor can I exagerate [sic] the unheard of trouble I have given him - Happily this present from me will be for him a joy beyond all past annoyances - and I am sure you will wish him to have it -

[p. 3] There are lots of things to tell you - but tomorrow - or the day after - for tomorrow I shall be awfully pushed by this continuous Count - you shall hear of my visit to Galland[13] - and the speech he made to his assembled Students!!!! -

Do send me the proper address of Paulus[14] -

and now my own sweet darling Chinkie Trix Good bye for the minute -

Your loving

[butterfly signature]

What have you been doing with the cheques?

Love to Bunnie and do send me the papers -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [27 January 1892]
JW had written that he expected to begin work on Wednesday [27 January 1892], #06606. An excerpt from this letter, dated 'janvier 1892', was published by Newton, Joy, 'La Chauve-souris et le Papillon: Correspondance Montesquiou-Whistler,' Nottingham French Studies, vol. 20, no. 1, May 1981, no. 75, pp. 146-47.

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. JW also calls her 'Wam', 'Chinkie' and 'Trix'.

3.  Counts
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

4.  respectueux
Fr., respectful.

5.  Gandara
Antonio de la Gandara (1862-1917), portrait painter and pastellist [more]. Gandara lent JW his studio to paint Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (YMSM 398).

6.  Roussel
Theodore Roussel (1847-1926), painter and print-maker [more]. It is not known what was 'pore' about Roussel.

7.  Rembrant
Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1606-1669), painter and etcher [more].

8.  red
'red' and 'When' in this paragraph, and 'at once' in paragraph 7, are double underlined.

9.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more]. Why JW calls her 'blind' is not clear but perhaps she was short-sighted.

10.  Maeterlink
This may have been Maître Albert Maeterlinck, attorney in Antwerp [more], who was representing JW in his lawsuit against Sheridan Ford: Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890. However, JW also knew Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck (1862-1949), writer [more], at this time, but what was 'awful' is not known.

11.  Grau
Frederick H. Grau (d. 1894/1895), picture framer [more]. Grau also made JW's table palettes, one of which is now in the Tate Gallery (see Munhall, Edgar, Whistler and Montesquiou. The Butterfly and the Bat, New York, 1995).

12.  drawing of palette
Palette (M.1323).

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

14.  Paulus
Adolf Paulus (b. 1851), business manager of the Kϋnstlergenossenschaft and instigator of the Munich Secession in 1893 [more].