The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07582
Date: 8 February 1899
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: William Cleverley Alexander[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: British Museum, London
Call Number: Department of Prints and Drawings, 1958-2-8-33
Document Type: ALS[2]

110. Rue. du Bac -

Feb. 8. 1899.

Dear Mr Alexander -

Now that you have discovered a second picture in the portrait of your daughter Miss May[3], I will again beg you to let Miss Cissie's[4] go to Venice -

You have, of late years, so [p. 2] continually refused my requests, that I feel quite fresh again - and as though I had never undergone such mortification! -

Italy, then, has never seen this beautiful painting of yours - and I would earnestly beg you to consent, when the Mayor of Venice[5], and President of the Exhibition send you the letter asking you to let them hang in a place of honour this work -

This communication, I am told, you will receive in a day or two. -

The King[6] opens the Exhibition personally - and the state and consequence of the ceremony is but a faint indication of the real artistic dignity and appreciation of the body -

I may say certainly that I feel the Venice Exhibition to be far away the most important, after Paris, in Europe - and the gratitude of the Council, and their acknowledgement to yourself will show their high sense of your courtesy. -

Also, even if of less avail, I will add my personal prayer - and my warmest thanks before hand - -

With kindest regards to Mrs Alexander[7], and your daughters.
Always sincerely

J. McNeill Whistler

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1.  William Cleverley Alexander
William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916), banker and patron [more].

2.  ALS
Written on mourning stationery.

3.  Miss May
Miss May Alexander (YMSM 127).

4.  Miss Cissie's
JW meant Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129). The exhibition was 3rd Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte della Città di Venezia,Venice, 1899. It opened on 22 April 1899.

5.  Mayor of Venice
Comte Filippo Grimani (1850-1921), Mayor of Venice, President of the Internation Art Exhibition of the City of Venice [more].

6.  King
Umberto I (1844-1900), King of Italy [more].

7.  Mrs Alexander
Rachel Agnes Alexander (b. ca 1837, m. 1861), née Lucas, wife of W. C. Alexander [more].