The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11984
Date: 22 June 1873
Author: JW
Place: [London][1]
Recipient: Samuel Putnam Avery[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Call Number: Acq. No. 1943.3.8822
Document Type: ADS[3]


S. P. Avery -

Sunday June 22. 1873.

Wind S. by S. W.[5]

[butterfly signature]

[p. 2]

[butterfly signature]

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1.  [London]
Although JW sometimes met Avery in Paris, he was almost certainly in London. He gave a lavish dinner-party in Chelsea on the previous day, perhaps in honour of Avery (#10965).

2.  Samuel Putnam Avery
Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), print-publisher, collector and philanthropist [more].

3.  ADS
Drawn in pen and brown ink on beige laid paper with partial watermark '[...]NSON/ [...]872'. This may have read 'JOHNSON/ 1872'. Thus the drawing must date from 1872 or 1873. The inscription is darker than the drawing, suggesting it was made at a slightly later date, presumably when it was given to Avery.

4.  drawing
Sketch of Maud (M.497). The drawing was identified as a portrait of Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more] and reproduced in its original state in Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Whistler Journal, Philadelphia, 1921, f. p. 162. It is now badly faded. It does not look exactly like her (the nose appears a bit big) but she was by this date living with JW and was the most likely model.

5.  Wind S. by S. W.
JW's cryptic note may be an in-joke about his relationship with Maud. It does not necessarily refer to the weather. In London the wind was westerly, force 2, on Saturday, and had shifted to the north-west by Monday. It was cool for June, with temperatures between 61 and 63 F. George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more], was in town that day, and recorded in his diary 'Lovely clear breezy day went to Whistlers. met Mr Geo. W, Mr Leyland. Mr Elden artist - bo[ugh]t lot etchings and painting by Whistler 40L. very amusing time.' (Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, vol. 2, p. 170).