System Number: 09199
Date: [13 September 1879]
Recipient: George Aloysius Lucas
Repository: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Call Number: 18 folder, W-Lucas file
Document Type: ALS
I have heard nothing of you for ages - and now rush off to Italy instantly where I am to be in Venice until December - I am to do the long promised set of etchings and have engaged to finish them by the 20th Dec -
We have written to you two or three times, but I suppose you were away at Vichy -
If this be not an inconvenience to you just it would be charming - and I could bring her with me on Monday or Tuesday next -
Do write a line to me by return saying whether it would not fit in with your plans just now - and address Care of Dr Whistler
28. Wimpole Street - Cavendish Square -
With kindest regards from both to yourself and Madame and Mons. Eugene
J A McN. Whistler
1. [13 September 1879]
Dated from JW's journey to Paris and Venice (see below). Also, the letter was almost certainly posted in the envelope to be found at #13309, which is postmarked 13 September 1879. Mahey dated the letter incorrectly as 3 May 1879 (Mahey, John A., 'The Letters of James McNeill Whistler to George A. Lucas,' Art Bulletin, XLIX, September 1967, pp. 247-57, pp. 247-257).
JW probably left for Paris on 14 September 1879, and caught the train for Venice on 18 September, arriving on 20 September 1879. Maud Franklin joined JW in Venice a month later (see G.A. Lucas' diary, 16 and 18 September, 18 October 1879, in Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, II, pp. 481, 483.) They were not back in London until November 1880.
The Fine Art Society commissioned a set of twelve etchings, Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5), which were eventually published by the Fine Art Society in 1880.
Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more]. She had visited Lucas with JW in April (see #09201) and it is also possible that she had visited Lucas when she was pregnant, before the birth of Maud McNeill Whistler Franklin (b. 1879), daughter of JW and Maud Franklin [more]. This might be why JW now described her as 'slim'.