The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11391
Date: 18 May 1881[1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Edmund Hodgson Yates[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Published
Document Type: PLc[3]

"Ne pas confondre intelligence avec gendarmes[4]" - but surely, dear Atlas, when the art critic[5] of the Times, suffering possibly from chronic catarrh, is wafted in at the Grosvenor without guide or compass, and cannot by mere sense of smell distinguish between oil and water colour, he ought, like Mark Twain[6], "to inquire."

Had he asked the guardian or the fireman in the gallery, either might have told him not to say that one of the chief interests of Mr Herkomer[7]'s large water-colour drawing of Mr Ruskin[8] "attaches to it as being the first oil portrait we have ever seen of our great art critic"! Adieu.

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1.  18 May 1881
Dated from date of publication in The World.

2.  Edmund Hodgson Yates
Edmund Hodgson Yates (1831-1894), novelist, 'Atlas' columnist and editor-proprietor of the World [more].

3.  PLc
Republished in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 2nd ed., London and New York, 1892, p. 69, under the title 'A Straight Tip.'

4.  Ne pas confondre intelligence avec gendarmes
Fr., Do not confuse intelligence with policemen.

5.  art critic
Henry ('Arry') Quilter (1851-1907), advocate and art critic [more] had just been made critic of the Times. Quilter's review of the V Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1881, appeared in the Times on 2 May 1881.

6.  Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), pseudonym 'Mark Twain', writer [more].

7.  Mr Herkomer
Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914), painter [more].

8.  Mr Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more].