System Number: 08162
Date: [July 1892]
Recipient: Max Williams
Place: [New York]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 3/33
Document Type: ALS
110 Rue du Bac, Paris -
The picture you ask about is a "Nocturne in Black & Gold, The Fire Wheel" -
This is and always has been one of my favourite pictures. I want [
thousand?] guineas for it - fifteen hundred guineas for it - (£1575 -). If you buy it you may be sure that you are not making a bad stroke of business. The [p. 2] value of these things of mine has not decreased with time, and the days when only "two hundred pounds was charged for a pot of paint flung in the face of the public" by Mr Whistler have gone by.
By the way, this is one of the works that especially roused the ire of Ruskin, resulting in the famous trial.
J. McN. Whistler.
To Mr Max Williams.
1. [July 1892]
Dated in an unknown hand.
4. pot of paint
JW is alluding to Ruskin's comment on Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), which led JW to sue him for libel in 1878: 'I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' (see Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, p. 47).
6. July. 1892
Written in pencil in lower left-hand corner of sheet in another hand.