The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10719
Date: [9 January 1894][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Stephen Richards[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/44/9
Document Type: ALS

110. Rue du Bac - Paris -

'9 Jan 1894'[3]

Dear Sir -

Two paintings[4] of mine - sea pieces - I am sending to the Grafton Gallery. -

Indeed they went yesterday -

I have written to Mr Prange[5] to say that I want you to have them on their arrival - And now I will tell you what I want you to do -

The pictures are quite new, having been painted [p. 2] only this autumn - I have put a thin coat of varnish on them about a month or six weeks ago - I don't think any harm can come to them because of it - for they are so simply and directly painted, One painting only - no second coat of any kind or retouching - so that there really is nothing to crack!

Now I just want you to take them out of their frames - and give them a beautiful coat of varnish - not too thick - but you know what pleases me - so that the surface shall be perfect -

Don't venture otherwise to touch anything![6]

Clean well the glass, and frame perfectly the pictures again - after they have dried sufficiently - and paste the stre[t]cher into the frame at the back - you know - a strip of brown paper to keep out the dust & damp -

No one[7] is to see the pictures while at your place under any pretext whatever - -

You will notice that one of the pictures has been slightly torn - up in the right hand corner - by the scoundrel who stretched it - and there is the mark of a nail that the brute [p. 3] drove at the time into the stretcher -

However I don't think I would touch this at present. Wait till it comes out of the exhibition and we will see - You will find that the frame just covers the tiny hole of the nail - So that's all right -

Please write me a line telling me that all this is clear, and that you will see to it all with your usual skill & attention -

Very truly yours

J McN Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


Mr Stephen Richards -
4. Berners Street.
Oxford Street
London -
[stamp illegible]
[postmark:] PARIS-62 / AV DE LA GDE ARMEE / 7E / 9 / JANV / 94
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. W / V 7 / JA 10 / 94


1.  [9 January 1894]
Dated from the postmark.

2.  Stephen Richards
Stephen Richards (b. ca 1845), picture restorer [more].

3.  '9 Jan 1894'
Date written in another hand.

4.  Two paintings
Violet and Silver: A Deep Sea (YMSM 411) and Dark Blue and Silver (YMSM 412) had been painted in Brittany in September 1893 and were exhibited with Violet and Blue: Among the Rollers (YMSM 413) at the Grafton Galleries, 1894 (cat. nos. 56, 49, 70). A few days later JW asked Richards to remove the third picture from the show and varnish it ([16 January 1894], #02903).

5.  Mr. Prange
Francis Gerard Prange (b. ca 1843), London art dealer [more].

6.  venture otherwise to touch anything!
Double underlined.

7.  No one
Double underlined.