System Number: 10659
Date: [October 1897?]
Recipient: Marion Farquhar
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/34/24
Document Type: ALS
Dear Mrs. Farquhar -
I am having the picture photographed - so thats all right! - It is entirely because of my devotion to you! - for a work like this ought really never to be reproduced, and so engraved in history, as who should say, in a transitory and imperfect state. However your [p. 2] Mama - to whom I beg that you will present my compliments - will I take it kindly give me back this intermediate misrepresentation of the Duchess - and the picture - when the beautiful lady is finished -
Then we will have it properly engraved - Now it must go to the Champ de Mars this time! so if you make your arrangements over the winter you will let me know something like a couple of weeks beforehand when you think you could be in London -
Pray tell your husband that I rely upon him to bring you to the Studio -
You will be pleased to know that the famous white dress is guaranteed perfectly new, and beautiful as when you first put it on!
With kindest regards to yourself and Mr Farquhar
Very Sincerely Yours
J McNeill Whistler
You will readily understand that I could not entrust the picture to the usual photographer - as we would have had it in all the illustrated papers! - before the time!!
That is why it has taken an age to find the possible person!! -
Written at right-angles to the printed address.
7. white dress
Pennell described Mrs Farquhar in the portrait posed 'in evening dress with her long white green lined cloak thrown back [...] the colour was a harmony in silver and green' (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, p. 157). See also JW's letter to M. Farquhar, #09359.
8. before the time
Double underlined. 'You will readily ... person' is written at right-angles to the main text, in the left-hand margin.