System Number: 08792
Date: [May/June 1869]
Recipient: Frederick Richards Leyland
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 6B/21/4
Document Type: ALS
I was so pleased with the kind and sympathizing tone of your letter to my Mother that I felt instantly the wish to thank you for it - I am a bad hand at this though and perhaps should have waited to see you, had I not last night heard from Rossetti that you had been ill - I fear from his report [p. 2] that you have been suffering very much and that it may be some time before we shall have you among us - how gladly I should run down to talk with you instead of sending this miserable scrawl - which cannot express the affection I feel - If I am only able to show part of it feebly in the picture one of these days I shall be less pained than I am at present because of its long delay - Meanwhile I [am] most happy to tell you that you have, as I prophecied [sic] you would, in Moores Venus [sic] [p. 3] the most beautiful work in the Academy - no that would be saying nothing - I mean one of the most marvelously perfect things that has been produced - I cannot be too enthusiastic about it - To me me [sic] it is faultless! I never have enjoyed anything so thoroughly - and know that that [sic] you have one of the finest things in England -
My dear Leyland I must send this off with a hurried wish for your rapid convalescence - accompanied [p. 4] by my Mothers kindest regards to yourself and Mrs Leyland to whom pray remember me and believe me
Ever yours affectionately
J A McN Whistler
1. [May/June 1869]
Dated from reference to the Royal Academy exhibition (see below).
The nature of Leyland's illness is unknown. However, it is confirmed in a letter written by D. G. Rossetti to Leyland in which he offers his sympathy (see Fennell, Francis L., ed., The Rossetti-Leyland Letters, Athens, Ohio, 1978, Letter 22).
This may be a reference to The Three Girls (YMSM 88), which was commissioned by Leyland in 1867, but never completed, or to JW's proposed portrait, Arrangement in Black: Portrait of F. R. Leyland (YMSM 97).
The 101st Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1869 opened on 3 May.