The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08747
Date: 27 November 1878
Author: Joseph Williams Comyns Carr[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 4/23
Document Type: ALS

27 Nov 1878

19 Blandford Square
N. W

My dear Whistler

I must send you a line to say how strongly I feel that your verdict[2] should have been of a more substantial kind. A vulgar libel of that kind ought not to have been allowed to pass at such a price and I think if Ruskin acted according to his professed ideal of conduct he would pay your costs in spite of [p. 2] the verdict. I hope the burden will not fall heavily on you[.] If it does & the thing were any way practicable or acceptable to you I should be glad to contribute my mite towards a subscription to lighten the loss. Please accept my compliments upon your attitude in the box - I hear only one opinion of the manner in which you gave your evidence - -

Yours sincerely

J W Comyns Carr

[p. 3] The Titian[3], ah said Howell I know the Titian it was bought in Piccadilly

As to the story of the Judge & Geo. II[4] Merritt kept it .... Howell owes L5 ....

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1.  Joseph Williams Comyns Carr
Joseph Williams Comyns Carr (1849-1916), art critic and theatre manager [more].

2.  verdict
A reference to JW's libel case against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], of which JW had just heard the verdict. The case was in response to Ruskin's criticism of JW's works, especially Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), in his periodical Fors Clavigera. On 2 July 1877, he accused JW of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' in a review of the 1st Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1877. See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213. The trial took place at the Queen's Bench of the High Court over two days on 25-26 November 1878. The judge found in favour of JW but awarded him only token damages of one farthing. This is one of a number of letters of support received by JW (see also E. Lewis to JW, #02519 and J. P. Heseltine to JW, #08920).

3.  The Titian ... owes L5
This note is the hand of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. The reference to Tiziano ('Titian') Vecello or Vecellio (1485-1576), painter and engraver [more], is probably connected to the Whistler v Ruskin trial and Vincenzo Catena, Portrait of the Doge Andrea Gritti (z64), then attributed to Titian and owned by Ruskin. It was produced as evidence for the defence by Ruskin's solicitor. Howell was Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

4.  Judge & Geo. II
The rest of this note seems to be part of a joke scribbled by Rose on a menu (#08748).