The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08355
Date: [29 March 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: David Croal Thomson[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 3
Document Type: ALS[3]

Dear Sir -

Thanks for your two letters[4] -

Mme Coronio[5]. You ought certainly to ask 600. at least for her picture[6] - I notice that it is one of the most readily accepted - and consequently it would be, I think, poor policy not to make of it a good point of comparison.

Mme Reveillon[7]. Would never do to ask less than 800. - The great point is not the changing of ownership of these pictures - which is scarcely interesting to me - but to confirm, by every transaction, my large prices -

Exhibition[8]. The success is certainly absolute in every sense - Not only from the endless letters that come pouring in, do I get this - but from the fury of the press! - In short the success is as I wish it - of two kinds - a business one for you - and for me the further execration of a bewildered people whom it is my pleasure to pipe in and out of the "quick set hedge" - The "appreciation" you speak of, I am afraid I don't value in the least! -

Catalogues - [p. 2] Catalogues. Now in the midst of all the work, and great pressure I had but little thought of some business detail - and after all I am sure that in your hands I shall be perfectly well taken care of - But tell me the paper I signed accepting 9d. on [illegible] each copy of catalogue and 13 to the dozen - and the rest of it, referred I suppose to transactions that you should make outside with "the trade" - that is to say the selling of batches to "Bumpus[9]" and others - or for America in lots - Surely I get my complete shilling unnibbled for each copy sold in the galleries - just as you would if it were yours - This I rely upon your making right for me no matter what may have been signed -

You see I would not meddle with the gate money - you have it all as I said you should - and you know very well that from the business point, my catalogue, in which you had neither labour, risk, nor expense, has been a vast element in your money success at the door - For the public remains always [p. 3] the same and if you were to exhibit the treasures of the British museum or the National Gallery without other than their own beauty as a "draw", you would get none of the British silver at your turnstile -

At this very moment, while writing, the post has brought me an enormous sheaf of "cuttings" - as it does every day - Really there is no doubt that this is what is called a "howling success" - it cannot be disguised - and I think I mean from the Goupil Gallery point! - My own personal feeling about the matter I think you pretty well understand - The pearls of today, were always pearls - and the audience the same!

Your idea about the evenings at 6d. is doubtless an excellent one - only on no account give your announcement anything like the shape of "an appeal to the People" as you suggested.

Say something about the very short duration of the exhibition, and therefore for the benefit of Students, Academicians, and the shy criminal classes there is this further chance given. -

Kindly send over by return six more Catalogues - some of the new ones if out -

Exhibition in Paris[10] - Will write you more about this next time -

[p. 4] Letters[11] Am glad to receive them - and am much pleased with all detail you give me - Your letters are capital! -

Business - Where are your Americans? . The people must pay high prices! -

R. A. I am delighted with the few points you have given me - send more! -

The papers say that several of these good people have been seen prowling about the place -

Mr Jones[12] - Very funny! -

Mr Walter Sickert[13] Tell him I expect a letter from him.


Very truly Yours

J. McN. Whistler

P. S.[15] Don't give this address to anyone. Say that letters will be forwarded through your House. -

This document is protected by copyright.


D. C. Thomson
Goupil Gallery -
116. 117. New Bond Street -
London -
[postmark:] PARIS 15 BONAPARTE / 5E 29 / MARS / 92
[postmark on verso:] LONDON W / A A / AP2 / 92


1.  [29 March 1892]
Dated from postmark.

2.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more]. He had organised Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892.

3.  ALS
'1A' was written in red ink at the top of p. 1 and on the envelope, and '20' was written in pencil at the bottom right corner of the envelope, all in another hand.

4.  two letters
See #05709, and #05710.

5.  Mme Coronio
Aglaia Coronio (1834-1906), née Ionides, wife of George Coronio [more].

6.  picture
Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach (YMSM 46).

7.  Mme Reveillon
Julia de Kay Revillon (1855-1930), née Whistler, JW's niece [more]. She was interested in selling Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room (YMSM 34); see #05176.

8.  Exhibition
Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892.

9.  Bumpus
A London bookshop.

10.  Exhibition in Paris
The proposed continuation of the show in the Paris branch of Goupil's did not take place

11.  Letters
Double underlined.

12.  Mr Jones
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), painter and designer [more].

13.  Mr Walter Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

14.  [illegible]
Two crossed out words, illegible, are Thomson's pencil notes.

15.  P. S.
Double underlined.