System Number: 08114
Date: 12 June 1892
Recipient: Stephen Richards
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/44/2
Document Type: ALS
33. Rue de Tournon. Paris
June 12 - 1892 -
Dear Sir -
I have just received the five small paintings on millboard - (sketches of figures & sea) - that you have cleaned & varnished for me. They look pure and brilliant as on the day they were painted! -
But while you were about it, I wish enough you had seen to the condition of their backs - They were put down upon other cardboards some time ago, and they are all loose and bent about now -
In short they had been badly done -
. . . . Also how is it that they [p. 2] come back to me without their frames? ! ! -
How could you let them leave your place, clean and freshly varnished as they were, unframed!
This is so unlike your usual thoughtfulness and great care! I was horrified! However happily they are unharmed. -
About the large Nocturne of Cremorne that comes with them - What did you do to this? -
I wanted you to clean it and take off whatever varnish there may have been upon it - and send unvarnished, that I might paint upon it. I have not examined it closely - but at first sight it doesn't seem as if you had done anything to it at all? -
Now I understand that you will have brought to you, almost directly, four more pictures by me; I have said that you are the only man fit to touch my work, therefore, you must prove again how right I am, in having this full confidence in you. You will clean and take off the varnish with the utmost care and tenderness - Two of the pictures have not been cleaned since they were first painted. They ought all to come out in the most brilliant condition. One, - "The Balcony" you can use your own judgment about. The little Thames picture and the seapiece are painted as well as I remember, in one go [p. 3] and consequently are not so much impasted, therefore will require your utmost care -
Let me have a line from you telling me how you get on with them, and above all no one is to know that you are occupied with them, and not a soul is to see them.
Very truly yours,
J McN. Whistler
To Mr. Richards, Berners Street
Written in purple ink. Published in Grasberger sale catalogue, c.1926, p. 4, item 7.