The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06793
Date: [3/24 January 1899][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: Académie Carmen[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W782
Document Type: AD

So Art is limited to the infinite, and beginning there cannot progress. -

A silent indication of its wayward independence from all extraneous advance, is in the absolutely unchanged condition and form of implement, since the beginning of things -

The painter has but the same pencil - the sculptor, the chisel of centuries -

Colours are not more since the heavy hangings of night were first drawn aside, and the loveliness of light revealed -

Neither Chemist nor engineer can offer new elements of the Masterpiece! -

[butterfly signature]

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1.  [3/24 January 1899]
Dated by the butterfly signature, and the likely recipients (see below). This is a copy by JW of a fragment of his 'Ten O'Clock' Lecture, which was delivered in Princes Hall, London, on 20 February 1885, and on several occasions later in the year (see Whistler, James McNeill, Mr. Whistler's 'Ten O'clock', London, 1888).

2.  Academie Carmen
This copy was probably written out to be lithographed and hung on the walls of the Académie Carmen in Paris, when JW taught there between 1898 and 1901. A French translation of the text is at #13818. JW was occupied in revising, transcribing, and in some cases getting translations of his Propositions and statements on art by early 1899 (see JW to T. Duret, 30 January 1899, #09659). The Pennells note that an English version and Duret's translation of A Further Proposition were hung on the walls of the Académie Carmen in Paris in February 1899, and that the lithographed text was hung there the following month (#06825; see Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, p. 236).