System Number: 09577
Date: 2 February 
Recipient: Walter Theodore Watts-Dunton
Repository: British Library, London
Call Number: Department of Manuscripts, Ashley Collection, Ashley 4601
Document Type: ALS
96 Cheyne Walk
My dear Watts -
This is my position. - It is far from my wish to rob Leyland of any real right - whatever may be my opinion of his conduct - The portraits of himself and Mrs Leyland I have witheld [sic] because of certain remarks in one of his letters impugning their artistic value, and whereas I do not acknowledge that a picture once bought merely belongs to the man who pays the money, but that it is the property of the whole [p. 2] world, I consider that I have a right to exhibit such picture that its' [sic] character may be guaranteed by brother artists - therefore it was my intention to show, in a public exposition these two paintings this spring - and thereupon restore them to their chance purchaser -
With reference to the portrait of Miss Florence Leyland I have to say that it is incomplete simply because the young lady has not sufficiently sat for it - and as she is not likely to sit for it again, I must do what I can to make it as worthy of me and of herself as possible - When this is all accomplished, Leyland shall have it - for my "stock in trade" is my reputation, and it is not represented by Leyland's money.
[p. 3] In short I propose to hand him over these three pictures very shortly -
As to the fourth, he has made it impossible for me to pay him back the money at present - I am too poor to do so - but directly I am able, I will return him the 400 gs - either in a lump - or by instalments -
Forgive the weariness of all this my dear Watts
J A McN Whistler
1. 2 February 
Date written in an unknown hand, in red ink: '2.2.[?78]', confirmed by the almanack, since Saturday, 2 February was in 1878.
Published in Thorp, Nigel (Editor), Whistler on Art: Selected Letters and Writings 1849-1903 of James McNeill Whistler, Manchester, 1994, and Washington, 1995, pp. 50-51, no. 17. This letter is part of the draft letter, #06073.
7. portrait of Miss Florence Leyland
Portrait of Miss Florence Leyland (YMSM 107). The model who posed for the completion of this portrait was Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more].